Nearly half of all UK companies are in the initial planning stages of implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for their IT operations, a survey has revealed. But most IT professionals are unaware of system breakdown risks, another survey posited.

The SOA readiness survey of 180 UK organisations, conducted by systems integrator Griffiths Waite and sponsored by Oracle, showed that 47 percent of IT professionals are rolling out SOA. Of these, 20 percent had already implemented at least one SOA project.

But another survey, conducted by testing and quality management provider AppLabs, stated that 59 percent of IT professionals are unaware of the risks associated with SOA.

This latter research, which surveyed more than 50 IT professionals from Fortune 500 companies, also revealed that 19 percent of IT professionals do not know how to approach quality management and testing in an SOA environment. A further five percent stated they would test SOA in the same way as other IT systems.

"SOA will be used in more than half of new mission-critical operational applications and business processes designed in the next 12 months," the report stated. "With the high business risk associated with SOA, the likelihood of a system breakdown is high."

Hugh Griffiths, co-founder and director of Griffiths Waite, said SOA adoption was growing. "The main drivers for both business and IT are the benefits of a flexible IT architecture that can support ongoing business change," he believed.