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Accenture to invest $450 million in SOA

IT outsourcing company plans new lab focusing on development of service-oriented architecture applications.

IT outsourcing company Accenture on Wednesday announced it plans to invest $450 million over the next three years in the development of service-oriented architecture applications.

The company plans to open a new research lab for SOA applications that will initially focus on health care and financial services and later branch out to more than a dozen other industries.

"We selected health care because it's a fast-growing area and exhibited the traits we need to further our investigations in pushing the envelope," said Don Rippert, Accenture's chief technology officer.

For example, a number of parties and functions are involved in the process of filling a prescription, Rippert said. A doctor works not only with the patient but also with a pharmacy and the patient's insurance carrier. Information can range from the list of medications a patient is taking and if the drugs will interact to whether the patient is insured.

Accenture's SOA focus comes at a time when companies are increasingly turning to Web-based applications that will work with other Web-based software to deliver various services and functions. SOA is a modular software design that promises to make business applications easier to write and maintain.

Accenture also serves the airline, energy and forest product industries as part of its 18 core areas.