Times are tough-unless you're in the middleware business, it seems.
Gartner recently announced that application infrastructure and middleware software revenues are up seven percent over last year, which equals a hefty $17.6 billion worldwide.
Could this be a sign that the economy is improving?
Maybe. Joe McKendrick of ZDNet took it as a positive sign, writing:
The rise in spending reflects the deployment of IT resources to help fuel new business growth as the economy picks up steam.
And Gartner certainly seems to think so. In the press release about these recent findings, Gartner noted "organizations have moved away from a cost containment focus toward preparing for growth," and AIM technologies are a key part of their plans to modernize.
Another key finding is that big vendors are grabbing more of the AIM market now than ever. In fact, more than $1.2 billion in AIM revenue shifted from independent vendors to suite vendors. The top five vendors-IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Software AG and TIBCO-now hold 61 percent of the AIM market.
Gartner observed a few other related trends that I found interesting:
The press release didn't have a ton to say about how middleware will be impacted by the growth of cloud offerings, although Gartner does expect we'll soon see more growth in cloud spending for middleware solutions such as PaaS (platform-as-a-service) solutions. It's possible the shift to the cloud could actually increase middleware spending, as Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, has suggested.