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Gartner: eight billion spent on SOA, integration

Can we justify spending eight billion a year on reducing complexity?

Gartner just released some statistics around the worldwide application integration and middleware market, which presumably encompasses most of SOA, finding a seven percent jump in spending from 2004 to 2005.  Total revenue totaled $8.5 billion in 2005. Gartner says it looks for a similar growth rate this year in the market.

This begs the question, where is this spending coming from, and what is it supposed to accomplish?

Gartner's Joanne Correia hits the nail on the head in expressing with the biggest challenge in this multi-billion-dollar market -- getting funding from on high, especially for somewhat amorphous concepts. “While integration can simplify complexity to make the IT environment accessible to more users and usable in more contexts, budgets for 'reducing complexity' have been difficult to obtain,” she said.

“Even when the budget holders have been convinced of the need for simplification, it still remains hard to obtain the right budget.  We are seeing a paradoxical situation. Complexity of IT systems has risen, but historically this has not generated a spree of spending in application integration or new system software. However, we expect the software spending to continue to increase because corporations have started their movement of older systems to a service-oriented architecture based environment.”

Gartner said that the top vendor in this space was IBM, with 37 percent of market share in 2005. BEA followed with 14 percent, Oracle with nine percent, Microsoft with five percent, and Tibco with four percent.

The fastest growers in this space were Oracle (40 percent growth year to year), and Microsoft (13 percent).

The consultancy warns that while Big Blue is the clear market share leader in message-oriented middleware (MOM), integration suites, portal products and transaction processing middleware, it faces fierce competition in enterprise service bus (ESB) and B2B software. BEA makes the number-two spot due to its strong app server offerings. But the market is shifting fast however -- "Weaker players have disappeared at a higher rate," according to Correia.