Why IBM stands out as a leader in middleware solutions

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 2:49 p.m. ET

IBM leads the Application Infrastructure and Middleware software market

Lately, IBM has seen lot of harsh criticism due to its poor financial results and faltering leadership position. But there are some technological areas where the company still stands tall. IBM retained its market-leading position in application infrastructure and middleware software for 13 consecutive years as of 2013.

According to Gartner, the worldwide application infrastructure and middleware or AIM software revenue market was worth $21.5 billion in 2013. The market was worth 20.4 billion in 2012. So it’s seen a 5.6% increase from last year.

The above chart shows the market share held of the top five players. IBM Corp. (IBM) leads the market, with 30% share. Next comes Oracle (ORCL), which held a 15% share in 2013. The other players among the top five positions were Microsoft (MSFT), Software AG (SOW), and TIBCO (TIBX).

Segments of AIM software

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The application infrastructure and middleware software is formed by a multitude of segments. These are integration and platform middleware, business-to-business and multiple-enterprise middleware products, general-purpose portal products, managed file transfer, software-oriented architecture governance technologies, technologies that enable business-process management, and AIM appliances.

According to Gartner, within the application infrastructure and middleware portfolio, IBM is a leader in the following segments:

  • Business process management suite or BPMS, with 29% market share—helps improve business growth and agility
  • Message-oriented middleware or MOM, with 67% market share—a key enabler of mobile computing
  • Business-to-business middleware—drives better collaboration among partners and clients

Although IBM dominates the market, its market share declined from 31.1% in 2012 to 30% in 2013. There’s no change in the players among the top five category. But the emergence of platform-as-a-service and open-source software is deeply affecting these players.

The emergence and fast adoption of cloud computing, the Internet of things, mobile enablement, intelligent business operations, and in-memory computing are making players think twice about their existing infrastructure middleware scalability and agility.

IBM, through its billion-dollar investments in the business and data analytics space, is working hard to face new challenges from new technologies.

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