IBM, CA Lead Growing IT Operations Management Software Market

Among the top five vendors, Microsoft led the group in year-over-year growth at 16 percent.

While worldwide IT operations management software revenue increased again in 2012, the market's top four vendors—IBM, CA Technologies, BMC Software and Hewlett-Packard—actually surrendered market share as a new generation of competitors grew significantly faster than the market, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner.

Worldwide ITOM software revenue totaled $18 billion in 2012, up 4.8 percent from $17 billion in 2011, Gartner reported.

Continued investments in virtualization management tools and promising cloud computing technologies helped push the growth of the market, according to the report. The top five ITOM vendors, ranked by revenue, grew 0.6 percent in 2012, compared with 7 percent growth in 2011, and accounted for 55 percent share, or $9.9 billion, of the overall ITOM software market in terms of revenue.

"Vendor revenue in the 2012 ITOM software market demonstrated moderate single-digit growth, after two consecutive years of nearly double-digit growth, due in part to slow economic growth, tight IT budgets, and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity," Laurie Wurster, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Nevertheless, the ITOM market did manage to grow slightly above the average growth rate of the infrastructure software market, and by doing so it gained share of IT budgets."

Among the top five vendors, Microsoft led the group in year-over-year growth at 16 percent, while the rest of the top five remained flat or saw declining growth. Microsoft continues to rapidly gain on BMC and CA Technologies, with Microsoft just less than $650 million behind CA. However, the ranking of the top five vendors still has not changed from 2010 through 2012.

"The most interesting vendors to watch in terms of dynamics will be those with revenue ranging from $100 million to $500 million," Wurster continued. "Strategies on business models (software as a service [SaaS], subscription and cloud-based), as well as partnering programs to obtain reach into regions outside North America, Western Europe and mature Asia/Pacific, will be key to growth."

Across the ITOM segments, workload automation and IT process automation (distributed) was the only product segment able to maintain the strong double-digit growth experienced in 2011. Most other segments experienced a 2 percent to 3 percent year-over-year decline in growth rates compared with 2011.The report also noted the evolution of IT service desk tools into IT service support management tools contributed to growth in the market as vendors are supplementing foundational technologies with the addition of features such as mobility, collaboration, IT service visualization, and more advanced analytics and reporting.

In addition, continued strong growth in workload automation and IT process automation suggests that IT organizations are still investing heavily in technology that is more traditional and process improvement initiatives, and that there is also an increased effort to automate private cloud services, the report noted.