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11 predictions for enterprise software in 2013

Chris Kanaracus | Dec. 18, 2012
The end of each year sparks an occasion for rumination on the past, as well as a longing gaze into the future. We shined up our crystal ball, rubbed our chin for a while, and sought opinions from industry analysts on what the future holds for the enterprise software market.

Oracle will get out of some part of the hardware business: It's no secret that Oracle has struggled with Sun's hardware business following the 2010 acquisition of Sun. Oracle executives have sent a consistent message, however, that the vendor is focused on higher-margin systems like the Exadata database machine and has little interest in competing with Hewlett-Packard or IBM in the commodity server market.

But Exadata's real profitability lies in the large amount of Oracle database and other software it runs, which delivers Oracle steady streams of lucrative maintenance revenue. This speaks to the real issue: Oracle has always been a software company at heart, so expect some type of retreat from hardware in 2013. 

SAP boosts HANA with big data buy and nomenclature shift: Expect SAP to purchase an up-and-coming "big data" product or vendor, and perhaps several, including at least one that specializes in integration with the Hadoop framework for large-scale data processing, said Jon Reed, an independent analyst who closely tracks the company. Such a move would surely be taken with an eye on building out the capabilities of SAP's HANA in-memory database.

SAP will also seek to disassociate the NetWeaver brand name from its cloud products, Reed said. "For 2012, HANA will be the new term du jour." 

Hadoop's momentum will continue: Expect plenty of additional adoption for Hadoop, according to analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "Everybody has the 'big bit bucket' use case, largely because of machine-generated data," Monash said via email. "Even today's technology is plenty good enough for that purpose, and hence justifies initial Hadoop adoption." Development of further Hadoop technology will be rapid as well, Monash said. 

MySQL gets some more competition: Usually when the topic of alternative databases comes up, the incumbent is often Oracle or IBM DB2. But in 2013, MySQL could be playing the latter role. "NoSQL and NewSQL products often are developed as MySQL alternatives," Monash said. "Oracle has actually done a good job on MySQL technology, but now its business practices are scaring companies away from MySQL commitments, and newer short-request SQL DBMS are ready for use. Also, look for PostgreSQL to regain visibility as part of the mix." 

Software all around: "[2013] will be the year everyone wants to be a software company," said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. "Large hardware vendors and systems integrators will take advantage of [the consumerization of IT trend] and the cloud to consider delivering software-based solutions and IP to their market and competitors." 

HP will make another big software buy: As most people have heard by now, Hewlett-Packard's $10.3 billion acquisition of infrastructure software vendor Autonomy hasn't gone terribly well, particularly in the public relations department.

 

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