Gartner Takes Aim at the Middleware Market
May 2, 2011 Jenny Thomas
All signs continue to point to a bullish 2011, which has already brought news of rising spending and increased hiring within the IT industry. Server and storage sales were up as 2010 came to a close, and the latest prediction from the analysts at Gartner indicates the application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) market is also on an upward trend.
Gartner recently reported the worldwide AIM software revenue market totaled $17.6 billion in 2010, which is a 7.3 percent increase over 2009, when AIM revenue grew 3.4 percent and reached $16.4 billion.
According to Gartner, the AIM market has a dozen segments, including general-purpose portal products, business-process-management-enabling technologies, integration and platform middleware, business-to-business and multi-enterprise middleware products, integration platform as a service (iPaaS), SOA governance technologies, and AIM appliances. In other words, all the software connects IT back-ends to Web and other front-ends, in one way or another.
Some of the reason for the increase in AIM spending can be contributed to IT departments finally loosening their purse strings to prepare for growth as companies begin to emerge from recent darker economic times.
“AIM technologies are the key liaison between modernization of infrastructure and innovative applications, both well suited to serving any move to future growth,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner.
A number of acquisitions from independent companies to suite vendors contributed $1.2 billion worth of AIM revenue growth among those larger companies in 2010. This gain has increased market concentration among the top five vendors, which now account for 61 percent of the AIM market, up from 57 percent in 2009.
As illustrated in the following table, IBM retained its enormous market share lead, netting 32.6 percent of total AIM software revenue in 2010. Gartner identified acquisitions and organic growth as the biggest contributing factors to the remarkable growth among all top five vendors. Though ranked at number four, Software AG exhibited the highest year-on-year growth, which according to the Gartner report, was due to recent acquisitions and new strategic decisions.
Worldwide Vendor Revenue Estimates for Total AIM Software,
(Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Source: Gartner (April 2011)
On the technology side, the fastest-growing segments include SOA governance technologies, application servers, portal products, and appliances. Open source products are increasingly a part of deployment plans, with a focus on open source application servers (Red Hat‘s JBoss dominates here, but Apache Tomcat is also very popular) , enterprise service bus and a few other AIM functionalities, such as orchestration and embedded firmware for integration appliances. The hottest trend in IT–cloud computing–is also predicted to have some impact on the final 2011 numbers.
“Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) continue to be the central piece of attention while cloud is rapidly moving up in the scale of priority,” Biscotti said. “Cloud is driving only modest spending in the AIM space, but this will change as organizations become more acquainted with the benefits delivered by cloud technologies such as platform as a service.”
North America and Western Europe are the largest regional AIM markets, followed by Japan and Asia/Pacific, which remains the fastest growing region worldwide for AIM technologies.
You can see the entire report, Market Share Analysis: Application Infrastructure and Middleware Software, Worldwide, 2010 on Gartner’s site here.