Legacy middleware grows 12% in shift to digital

Digital transformation push sees organisations turn again to AIM market

The explosion of cloud computing, IoT, analytics and AI has led to the growth of legacy application infrastructure and middleware (AIM), Gartner has found, with the sector growing 12% year-on-year.

Spending on AIM hit $28.5 billion in 2017, up 11.9% on 2016, according to Gartner, and the research firm thinks spending on these legacy technologies will continue to rise rapidly this year, but then decrease from then on, down to 5% growth by 2022.

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"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 digitalisation," 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."

This is having a big impact on the spread of spending across market leaders, with businesses inching away from the likes of IBM and Oracle (together, the companies own almost a third of market share), towards what Gartner refers to as "challengers".

These businesses are those focused on cloud and open-source-based application integration (iPaaS) services, which businesses are seeking help from to execute digital transformation projects.

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"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 well-funded, pure-play iPaaS providers, open-source integration tool providers and low-cost integration tools are challenging the dominant position of traditional vendors."

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Biscotti added that although these new players that appear to be more agile will continue to gain momentum, they are not able to compete on the same level as the established players and the two sectors will grow together as businesses realise an more diverse approach is needed.

"Pure-play cloud integration is a niche requirement today most buyers have more extensive requirements as they pursue hybrid integration models," Biscotti said. "The long-term market composition is likely to consist of a broad spectrum, from generalist comprehensive integration suites to more-specialised fit-to-purpose offerings."

Picture: Shutterstock

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