IBM Tops Middleware Market 12 Years in a Row

IBM announced that it has been named overall middleware market share leader for the 12th year in a row by Gartner.

IBM announced that—based on Gartner's definition of the application infrastructure and middleware market—the technology company has been named the overall market share leader for 2012.

This marks the 12th year in a row that IBM has taken the leading spot for middleware. According to the Gartner report: Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2012, IBM was the leading software vendor, with 30.9 percent market share, nearly double that of its closest competitor. The worldwide application infrastructure and middleware software market grew five percent to $20 billion, according to Gartner.

"We believe the latest Gartner report underscores IBM's continued software leadership and shift to higher-value business areas that meet our clients' most pressing long-term business initiatives," Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software & Systems, said in a statement. "This news further demonstrates the success of this strategy and how IBM is helping usher its clients into the next era of computing."

Besides its overall lead, the Gartner report also recognizes that IBM is growing in the major initiatives that serve as key underpinnings to the company's higher-value growth initiatives, including Smarter Planet, big data, security, mobility and cloud.

For example, IBM was named the No. 1 vendor in Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) software with 28.6 percent share; almost triple that of its closest competitor. BPMS software enables companies to develop and implement processes that help their businesses integrate their business operations and data to be more agile and grow.

Gartner also reported that IBM continues to be No. 1 in other growing and key areas, including security information and event management, data integration tools, enterprise content management, enterprise asset management and IT operational management.

In addition, the report also noted strong growth by IBM in key segments of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, including e-commerce and marketing automation. IBM Smarter Commerce is focused on helping organizations transform their business operations to meet the rising demands of today's digital consumers and reach new clients, including chief marketing officers.

IBM said its continued market share leadership in application infrastructure and middleware has been a key reason for the company's strong growth and profits. Over the past decade, IBM's Software has doubled its revenue and tripled its profits—driving more than $11 billion in profits in 2012 alone, and these numbers continue to grow. Contributing more than 44 percent of IBM's business profits, IBM Software has become the profit driver for IBM, and a significant reason behind the company's ongoing transformation.

One of the prime examples is IBM Smarter Commerce. Through a mix of R&D and acquisitions, IBM has positioned itself to help organizations address the digital consumer while at the same time reaching a new industry of buyers of IT, including the chief marketing officer (CMO) and the chief procurement officer (CPO), among others.

Smarter Commerce generated 200 percent growth in services signings and 55 percent growth in software as a service (SaaS) wins, IBM said. A key driver of IBM's higher-value strategy, Smarter Commerce helps line-of-business leaders harness big data insights, often in the cloud, to better serve mobile and social consumers. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in a recent letter to shareholders, the most active of these new buyers in embracing higher-value technology have been chief marketing officers. CMOs are looking to reinvent the practice of marketing—for example, by understanding and enabling customers as individuals, rather than "segments."