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IT vendors missed out on the PaaS boom

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Worldwide application infrastructure and middleware (AIM) software revenue totaled $23,9-billion in 2015, a 0,1% increase from 2014, according to Gartner.
The considerable appreciation of the US dollar in 2015 masked growth in the market. In constant currency terms the market grew 7,8%, driven by rapid growth in the platform as a service (PaaS) segment.
“The PaaS segment showed the most impressive growth, not just in the AIM market but across the entire enterprise software market,” says Fabrizio Biscotti, research director at Gartner. “Integration PaaS (iPaaS) grew 55% in US dollars, while application PaaS (aPaaS) grew 40%, despite headwinds from the appreciating US dollar.”
While older technology remains the first choice for the most demanding application scenarios, the evolving maturity of cloud application infrastructure now offers greater agility, scalability and efficiency than traditional on-premises technologies.
This ongoing transition to cloud services and the emerging wave of innovation surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) further pushes application infrastructure spending away from older models toward event-driven analysis and processes.
“Market concentration among the largest vendors is diminishing under pressure from specialists, and open source and cloud providers,” says Biscotti. “The growth of iPaaS and aPaaS has, largely, not worked out to the benefit of the market incumbents.”
In 2015, the largest vendors retained their market positions, but market leader IBM suffered a revenue decline of nearly 13%, falling to 25% of the total AIM software market. Oracle’s revenue also dropped, by nearly 4%, capturing 13% of the total market. Microsoft’s 5% revenue growth meant it was the only one of the top three players to grow its revenue. Salesforce retained the fourth spot, while Software AG dropped out of the top five — switching places with Tibco Software.
“Salesforce continues to disrupt the AIM market, with its revenue growing more than 36% to just over $1-billion,” says Biscotti. “Salesforce’s strong performance, as well as steady growth in the ‘Others’ category, underlines the trend of cloud-only firms and smaller specialists picking up market share at the expense of traditional vendors in this space.”