Behind latest systems integration boom: cloud, virtualization and government

Integration market to keep growing at 5% annual rate, fueled by cloud, virtualization, and government IT streamlining.

The cloud is disrupting the systems integration market big time, a new study confirms. Will the systems integration industry as we know it look very different in a few years, as companies seek applications and services in bite-sized chunks off the cloud, versus big-budget engagements?

The report from Global Industry Analysts observes that "growing awareness among business partners, and severe competition in the market are compelling companies to provide customers, employees and other business partners with on-demand services and information sourced from different data resources."

The GIA report says this phenomenon is actually driving increased demand for integration solutions and services -- preferably in easily accessible and flexible ways. Overall, the systems integration market -- which includes enterprise software and services -- is projected to grow at a clip of about 5.15% annually for the period 2009 through 2017. A majority of activity will be in application development, the report adds.

Private cloud and data center consolidation is another big area. "Growing momentum towards virtualization as a means for consolidation of IT resources has and will continue to generate considerable opportunities for systems integration," the report notes. "Consolidation of servers, desktops, storage, applications and data as a part of this strategy will therefore drive up opportunities for IT systems integration and consulting services."

Most of the market action is in North America, the study's authors state: "The US continues to remain the largest regional market for systems integration accounting for a majority share in the global market revenue. Initiatives at the federal government level to rein in its $80-billion annual IT budget and run smarter will be a huge factor in systems integration market growth:

"Systems integration services are also forecast to grow in the public sector encouraged largely by government investments in upgrading IT infrastructure. Implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in government agencies, introduction of public convenience and safety solutions, such as E-governance, and modernization programs, such as those initiated by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), will especially boost demand for systems integration over the next few years.

"Collection, storage and sharing of critical information among different governing agencies demand greater degree of data security to serve as a precautionary measure against terrorist attacks. In particular, collaborative data sharing, horizontal integration and safeguarding assets and infrastructure from external risks are high priority projects. In addition, energy and environment, and public healthcare will further drive growth in the IT professional services sector including development and integration services. Government initiatives in countries including Japan, Australia, and European Union region will also provide impetus to the growth in the international market."

Major players in the marketplace identified by GIA include Accenture Plc., Atos SA, BT Global Services Ltd., CapGemini Group, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Fujitsu Limited, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hitachi Ltd., IBM Corporation, Indra Sistemas S.A., Infosys Ltd., Lockheed Martin Corporation, LogicaCMG plc, NEC Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Oracle Corporation, SAP AG, Science Applications International Corporation, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, T-Systems Limited, and Wipro Limited.