Application infrastructure and middleware has growth spurt

The global application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) software market experienced a growth spurt in 2010, according to the latest figures by Gartner.

The AIM market last year saw revenue of $17.6 billion, up 7.3 percent from 2009, when revenue grew 3.4 percent from the year before and reached $16.4 billion.

The growth has been attributed to the fact that businesses are moving away from focusing purely on costs and instead are concentrating on how to expand.

Gartner pointed out that AIM was the key bridge in helping to do this, as it fell between “modernisation of infrastructure and innovative applications, both well suited to serving any move to future growth.”

It added that service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) continued to be the “central piece of attention”, however cloud technology is “rapidly moving up in the scale of priority.”

The latter was cited as spending a modest amount in the AIM space, but Gartner said that will change as organisations became more acquainted with the benefits of cloud technologies.

And organisations are waking up to the benefits of AIM. According to Gartner, enough deals and acquisitions were made in the market last year to reach $1.2 billion of revenue. This helped bolster the market with the top five vendors accounting for 61 percent of the AIM market. This was 57 percent up from 2009.

IBM remained in top position, accounting for 32.6 percent of total AIM software revenue in 2010.

Due to recent acquisitions Software AG gets the medal for the highest year-on-year growth among the top five AIM software vendors.

Open-source is also increasingly becoming part of deployment plans with more and more companies focusing on open-source application servers, enterprise service bus, orchestration and embedded firmware for integration appliances. These combined led to a growth of 9.2 percent.

Globally North America and Western Europe were the largest regional markets for AIM, followed by Japan and Asia/Pacific.

However, Latin America, China and India are the fastest-growing, meaning they could creep up on the top players.