The global application integration and middleware software market appears to be surging ahead of the broader infrastructure software market, in terms of growth, according to the latest research by Gartner.
The analyst firm reckons that revenue generated by the worldwide application integration and middleware market is set to surpass $27 billion this year, representing an increase of seven per cent on the 2016 figures.
While application integration and middleware software makes up a small proportion of overall infrastructure software revenue, and will continue to do so, it is set to increase from $25.5 billion in 2016 to $33.6 billion in 2020, according to Gartner's predictions.
Much of the expected growth to appear in the application integration and middleware software market this year is likely to come down to market movements at the smaller end of town, rather than from large enterprises.
The application integration and middleware software market is split into mature and emerging segments, Gartner said. The mature segments are large in size, and most of the market is consolidated in the hands of a few established players.
Growth among this part of the market can be relatively slow, according to Gartner, due to a high proportion of revenue being generated from maintenance fees rather than new business.
However, the emerging segments, which include mobile app development platforms, in-memory data grids and platform-as-a-service, are smaller in size, but have experienced double-digit growth rates.
This growth comes as the smaller players expand in line with the growth of digital business and the market demand for increased agility and scalability. The segment shows a high level of fragmentation as new vendors battle it out for market share before market consolidation takes hold.
"The emerging segments are bolstering the above-average revenue growth within the AIM [application integration and middleware] software market," said Gartner research vice president, Fabrizio Biscotti.
"Organisations seeking competitive advantage through digital business need new approaches to application infrastructure and integration, a trend shown clearly in the fast-growing emerging segments," he said.