Which vendors will be on target in the era of New IT

Services, cloud computing, mobile, and big data analytics are changing the IT game, and not all enterprise providers are adapting

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The enterprise mobility management (EMM) space has so far been dominated by small niche players or startups. "In an immature market, the likes of Good Technology, [EMC VMware subsidiary] AirWatch, MobileIron, [Citrix Systems subsidiary] Zenprise, [IBM subsidiary] Fiberlink, and Soti have been able to take the lead in terms of features and innovation as they focused purely on the issue of how best to manage and secure data on mobile apps and devices," says Richard Absalom, senior analyst for enterprise mobility at research firm( Ovum.

Now, the market is maturing and some of the bigger IT vendors are taking an interest. "Many have bought directly into it to complement existing endpoint management offerings and those leading niche players are being slowly picked off," Absalom says. "Symantec, LANDesk, Dell, CA, and Oracle, to name a few, have all made significant acquisitions. This consolidation is bound to continue as there are so many vendors in the space."

For example, EMC VMware recently bought AirWatch, Citrix Systems recently bought Zenprise, and IBM recently bought Fiberlink, a sign that major providers see EMM as an important capability to offer enterprises. Before that, Dell bought Kace, Quest Software, SonicWall, and Wyse, and Symantec bought Nukona and Odyssey Software.

The New IT era: It's going to get big in big data

The push to big data and analytics as key IT resources is also causing shifts in the technology market, providing opportunities for companies that have strengths in these areas.

"There is greater attention to big data analytics because of the growing spate of publicized success stories that have crossed over from Internet or classic financial services early adopters to more mainstream enterprises in consumer goods, digital media, and telecomm sectors," says Tony Baer, a principal analyst at Ovum.

Microsoft has steadily demonstrated a focus on making its information management software richer, more scalable, and more cloud-ready, says Merv Adrian, a research vice president at Gartner. "In 2014, Azure will assume its place as a crown jewel in the portfolio as Microsoft's vision of a hybrid world -- emphasizing seamless use of information across on-premise, cloud, and multiple databases and file architectures -- matches up with many organizations' determination to move to new deployment and database alternatives," he says.

Amazon is likely to continue its growth as early adopters expand their footprint, Adrian says. But "if it remains a cloud-only play, traditional mainstream IT organizations will continue to view it as only a partial solution, and it will not become a strategic partner for those organizations until its vision expands," he says. "If it chooses to wait out the lengthy transition to cloud-dominant architectures, its dominant position will have eroded, closing a unique opportunity."

Cloudera has anchored its position as the leading commercializer of the Hadoop stack, Adrian says, and in 2014 the company will seek to expand its market identity to capture a broader array of workloads in the enterprise. "As its competitors continue to ramp up, it will need to ensure that it watches its flanks and sustains growth in its core offerings while it broadens its footprint," he says.

Oracle's significant sales force turnover; its late-to-market scramble to ship an in-memory database after SAP, IBM, and Microsoft; and its continuing hardware "sinkhole" will mean substantial challenges, Adrian says, "even as it opens new fronts against several new competitive targets."

A third-party ecosystem is also emerging, as dozens of new and existing tools providers are introducing data management and security capabilities for Hadoop and other NoSQL platforms that are taken for granted in the data warehousing world, Baer says. "In 2014, watch for new applications to emerge that are designed specifically for big data and emerging platforms such as Hadoop," he says.

The one constant in the IT market is change, and those vendors with a knack for predicting what users will want and where technology will go will clearly be at an advantage.

This story, "Which vendors will be on target in the era of New IT" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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