Microsoft, IBM, Oracle Dominate Application Software Development: IDC

Despite the leadership position of these vendors, markets continue to evolve and transform, providing opportunities for vendors who place a premium on innovation.

The application development and deployment software market is expected to generate revenue of $80.6 billion in 2012, growing 3.7 percent over the 2011 revenue of $77.8 billion.

The market is led by three dominant vendors, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, which hold a combined market share of 54.7 percent, according to the Application Development & Deployment (AD&D) forecast component from research firm IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker.

Within the application development and deployment software markets, the Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) market stands out with a 34 percent market share. It is by far the biggest individual market and it is led by Oracle, which has nearly a 50 percent share compared to other vendors. The report noted that unlike other mature markets, RDMBS is forecast to outperform most AD&D markets with high single-digit growth in 2013 and beyond.

The $228 million distributed cache services managers market, comprised of products that cache data used frequently in order to improve application performance, is expected to post the highest growth in 2013, and grew nearly 16 percent in the first half of 2012 (1H12). The Process Automation Middleware (PAM) market, which supports modern application development methods through tools such as business process management suites, is expected to gain momentum over the 2012-2016 forecast period as enterprises look for more efficient ways to build and maintain mission critical applications, IDC said.

Subsections of the fast-growing Business Intelligence (BI) market are also expected to post growth rates in the high single digits in 2013 and beyond. “From a competitive standpoint, the market leaders include SAP, IBM, SAS, and Oracle, while the second tier is fiercely disputed by vendors such as MicroStrategy, QlikTech, Information Builders, Tableau Software, Actuate, Panorama Software, and Tibco,” the report noted. “The mushrooming growth in data and the need to leverage this data in real time is driving growth across the analytics markets.

However, despite several high-growth areas in the 23 functional markets IDC uses to comprise the AD&D software market forecast data, the collective outlook for the overall AD&D market is for moderate growth in 2012 due to slower than expected sales in the second half of the year. The report predicted this would be followed by a return to higher single-digit growth in 2013 and beyond.

"Across the AD&D markets, higher growth is being experienced where markets are aligning with or supporting mobile, cloud, social and big data areas", IDC’s group vice president for application development and deployment research Stephen D. Hendrick said in a statement. "We expect growth in these areas to remain strong across the entire 2012-2016 forecast period."