Analysts at Butler Group, Europe's leading IT research and advisory organization, give their viewpoint of what lies ahead and what can be expected to unfold in 2007.

The "Microsoft Effect" on the Security Market will be Significant

During 2007 expect the "Microsoft effect" on the security marketplace to be significant. At the moment there is something of a phony war going on between Microsoft and leading security vendors such as McAfee and Symantec over Microsoft's Kernel management approach to the 64-bit version of Vista. Other security organizations such as Aladdin and Sophos believe that Microsoft is right to take this one-time opportunity to adequately protect its core. This and other incursions into the security arena will keep Microsoft in the security limelight.

Andy Kellett, Senior Research Analyst - Practice Area: Security

Expect the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) will Start to Commoditize

The factors are all in place for the ESB market to start to become commoditized. There are more vendors than the market will be able to support in the long-term, and this will result in price pressure. At the same time, open source products offering ESB functionality will start to impact the market, moving revenue away from up-front license revenue towards periodic maintenance fees. Finally, SOA will become more approachable by midsized organizations, increasing the demand for entry-level products at cost-effective price points.

Rob Hailstone, Software Infrastructure Practice Director - Practice Area: Software Infrastructure

BPM will Reinforce its Position as a Mainstream Technology

Business process management (BPM) will reinforce its position as a mainstream technology, with a great deal of emphasis on the decomposing of processes into finer levels of granularity. The coming year will also see more importance attached to the issue of process discovery from existing assets rather than modeling process from a green-field site. There will be a greater degree of understanding of the benefits of business rules, and how these need to be implemented as a service. This requires a separate management solution and the business rules management system (BRMS) space will grow in respect of both understanding and adoption.

Mike Thompson, BPM Practice Director  - Practice Area: Business Process Management

Performance Management will Drive Business Intelligence (BI) Deployments and Consolidation will Continue in the Supplier Market

The trend for vertical and ready-made solutions will continue as pure-play vendors continue with their efforts to put more distance between themselves and Microsoft. In particular there will be a number of new prepackaged applications for corporate performance management for MiFID, marketing management and retail. Consolidation will continue in the supplier market with the acquisition of disruptive vendors such as SeeWhy by pure-play BI vendors. Platform vendors IBM, Oracle and SAP are likely to make acquisitions too.

Sarah Burnett, Senior Research Analyst - Practice Area: Business Intelligence

Outsourcing will Require Increased Flexibility and Organizations will Look to Remote Management Delivered from Offshore Locations in a Bid to Cut Costs

It will finally be clear in 2007 that few organizations will consider going back to lengthy, single-supplier outsourcing deals. The large number of existing deals reaching renewal stage will reinforce the trends towards deals of shorter duration, regular reviews of objectives, and the involvement of multiple vendors, which are making successful outcomes in outsourcing engagements into moving targets that can only be achieved by ever-closer partnerships.

Organizations looking for ways to cut spiraling data centre costs will see Remote Infrastructure Management delivered from offshore locations as a realistic option. Costs of maintaining up-to-date skills in data centers and of investment in technology transformation such as consolidation and advanced management capabilities are strong drivers towards this type of service, which has undeniable financial benefits that we believe should be considered carefully.

Alan Rodger, Research Analyst - Practice Area: Outsourcing and Services

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