Middleware market had a stellar year, Gartner says

Spending accelerates as companies look to service oriented architecture and business process management to drive new business growth.

Revenues in the worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market were up more than seven percent in 2010, totaling $17.6 billion, according to new estimates from Gartner.

Service oriented architecture and business process management (BPM) initiatives are fueling the growth, Gartner says. On the technology side, the fastest-growing segments include SOA governance technologies, application servers, portal products and appliances. Open-source is also increasingly a part of deployment plans with a focus on open-source application servers, enterprise service bus and a few other application infrastructure and middleware functionalities, such as orchestration and embedded firmware for integration appliances.

The business process management suites market also continued to exhibit solid growth (9.2%).

The rise in spending reflects the deployment of IT resources to help fuel new business growth as the economy picks up steam. As Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner, puts it:

"Organizations have moved away from a cost containment focus toward preparing for growth. AIM technologies are the key liaison between modernization of infrastructure and innovative applications, both well suited to serving any move to future growth. Service-oriented architecture 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 adds that cloud is still only a small part of the spending equation.

There was also a lot of consolidation taking place within the AIM market, with five major vendors now dominating 61% of the space, Gartner points out. This is due to a number of acquisitions with more than $1.2 billion worth of AIM revenue in 2010 moving from independent companies to suite vendors. In 2009, the top five vendors drove 57% of the market.

By vendor, IBM retained its market share lead and accounted for a third of total AIM software revenue in 2010, Gartner estimates. "The top five vendors managed above market average performances, fueled by acquisitions and organic growth. Due to recent acquisitions and new strategic decisions Software AG exhibited the highest year-on-year growth among the top five AIM software vendors."

2010 Revenues ($m) Share (%) Growth 2009-2010 (%)
IBM 5,759.0 32.6 14.4
Oracle (inc. BEA) 2,995.7 17.0 12.5
Microsoft 875.4 5.0 13.9
Software AG 601.0 3.4 27.3
TIBCO 502.0 2.8 20.1
Others 6,913.7 39.2 -2.4
Total 17,646.85 100.0 7.3
Source: Gartner (April 2011)

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