A significant shift toward digital business models that harness technology trends such as cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and artificial intelligence (Al) is boosting worldwide spending on application infrastructure and middleware (AIM). Gartner, Inc. numbers show that AIM market revenue reached $28.5 billion in 2017, an increase of I 1.9 per cent from 2016 (see Table 1).
The wider technology trends driving the AIM market are commonly accepted: migration to cloud platforms and services, ever-increasing demand for near-real-time data and analytics, a shift toward an API economy, rapid proliferation of IoT endpoints, and deployment of Al.
"A new approach to application infrastructure is the foundation organisations build their digital initiatives upon, and therefore robust demand in the AIM market is testament to the occurrence of digitalization," said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. "The more companies move toward digital business models, the greater the need for modern application infrastructure to connect data, software, users and hardware in ways that deliver new digital services or products."
Gartner forecasts that the AIM market will grow even faster in 2018, after which spending growth will slow each year, reaching around 5 per cent in 2022. Moreover, momentum in the AIM market is shifting from market incumbents to challengers.
Licensed, on-premises application integration suite offerings that make up larger segments served by market incumbents such as IBM and Oracle achieved single-digit growth in 2016 and 2017. Gartner expects this growth to continue through 2022. "We can generally describe the products in this slow-growing segment as serving legacy applications," said Mr Biscotti.
Small challenger segments--built predominantly around cloud and open-source-based application integration (iPaaS) offerings--will continue to enjoy double-digit growth.
"In iPaaS we find the groundwork being laid for a digital future, as the products in this segment generally are lighter, more agile IT infrastructure suited for the rapidly evolving use cases around digital business," said Bindi Bhullar, research director at Gartner. "The result is that wellfunded, pure-play iPaaS providers, open-source integration tool providers and low-cost integration tools...