Big Blue Ponies up $1 Billion for Information Management Initiative
February 20, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
There’s gold in them there databases, or so you would believe if you heard that IBM is committing $1 billion and over 15,000 employees to chase the information management market, a kind of catch-all buzzword that seems to mean about as many different things as WebSphere does.
That’s a lot of money and a lot of consultants to deploy at anything, and information management is apparently an area that Big Blue says is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent between 2005 and 2009, reaching $69 billion by 2009. In plain English, information management is yet another layer of software that you put on top of the distributed systems that vendors convinced you to buy in the past decade so you can validate and integrate all of the disparate information on those machines. Ironically, at least as far as customers who are acquainted with host-based systems like a mainframe and OS/400 servers, this would have been unnecessary if we kept to centralized systems.
But, too late now, and compliance regulations are turning into a gold mine for software vendors and companies that provide services to help people sort through, integrate, and lock down information. As you might imagine, IBM’s Software Group and Global Services are salivating to help fix the “information management” problem that distributed computing created. Software Group has committed to tweak its software portfolio to better integrate distributed data, and rolled out a preview of WebSphere Information Server, which ensures data quality, transforms data between different formats, and provides trust mechanisms so information can be consolidated and distributed to different applications and users. WebSphere Information Server will be launched in the second quarter.