Meanwhile, as a repeat speaker at the Spring event, Rymer offered a set of predictions of what he expects to happen over the next year. "Last year I said one of the open-source providers would rise up; now it's companies that support these lean approaches [that] will thrive," Rymer said. "This is the next phase of growth."
Thus, Rymer's first prediction was, "Lean software specialists will thrive." The second was, "SAP's platform influence will shrink." Third was, "Microsoft will beat IBM and Oracle to PAAS ... I think Microsoft is being much more aggressive in developing this new cloud-based model than IBM and Oracle."
Rymer's fourth prediction was that "Sun [Microsystems] shrinks by killing products; may not survive," he said. "They have got to cut a lot of products and focus on what they're good at. They have to stop playing the field." His fifth prediction was that "Agile methods will be the norm." And sixth was that enterprises will move to the "cloud for commodity workloads."
Rymer said there is a tension between creativity and business that is spurring this move to lean software. "We've reached kind of a breakpoint," he said. "Even as the big vendors consolidate and there is a pull on corporate budgets, developers are driving lean software."
Rymer said four enterprise vendors continue to dominate the software landscape: Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and SAP dominate in that order, with growth rates ranging from 10 to 25 percent and accounting for 37 percent of the total software market.
In addition, "the rich have enriched their portfolios through acquisition," Rymer said, noting that all four leading vendors have made a slew of acquisitions over the past couple of years, from 12 by SAP to 29 by Microsoft. This has created a second tier of software companies that includes TIBCO, Red Hat, Sun, Software, Progress and SpringSource.
And Rymer added that despite the vendor move to consolidation, it is not working out well for all customers, many of which are struggling to drive the cost out of developing applications, particularly Web applications.
"There are lots of pain points that vendor consolidation has not solved," Rymer said. "Clients now want to optimize their costs; they are looking for downward curves. People are looking to open source to drive out cost. Lean software is the antidote to bloated vendors, products and applications."