IONA announced today that it had acquired for an unspecified amount of cash…
…C24, a small UK based business focused on data transformation and validation primarily for the financial services sector.
I should upfront admit to being a former employee of IONA, a current IONA shareholder and to know some of the guys at C24. And I should stress that (of course) none of those facts are the reason why I am writing about this news! Rather what it is significant is that it reflects the inevitable and growing focus on data (from modelling to transformation to validation) by SOA vendors which in turns reflects the growing importance of data management in deployed SOAs.
As Peter Zotto, CEO of IONA put it during the conference call about the announcement:
For CIOs, it [SOA] is all about three things: Data, data and data.
This is particularly the case in investment banking where profits are now driven by an ability to handle ever more complex derivatives for the hedge funds. This is the industry that C24 focused on and it is the industry that is driving the interest in data centric protocols (such as FpML), data transformation and validation in the SOA world. On this basis, the acquisition makes sense for IONA in servicing its investment banking customers today.
However in the longer term, the requirement is likely to spread into other industries: As SOA links applications and organisations in new ways, it exposes the big issue of how to map between the multiple data models and formats. And so the capability to ensure that this is done quickly and reliably will become essential for SOA-based infrastructure in any vertical where performance and data complexity occur such as government and telecommunications.