Blogs are pretty much reactive communications vehicles. I see something in the news or from the major research houses or from my own assignments that I think might inform investors or potential investors in EMC, Google (GOOG), IBM, Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), SAP, and so forth and I comment in three or four paragraphs.
But I found very little to comment on in January. Now I know why. Gartner says nothing new is happening in 2011 in enterprise software. Specifically, according to SiliconIndia, Gartner says:
"Business intelligence (BI), collaboration, content management, social software and supply chain management will be the top application software growth segments in 2011. The five long-term, overarching, and interdependent trends affecting the enterprise software markets are globalization, implementation, modernization, socialization and verticalization."
Change "business intelligence" to analytical applications and the variations on "social" to sales/marketing/ecommerce and that's how we kicked off the 2000 enterprise software retrospective at IDC 10 years ago. As testament to the maturity of the now almost 40-year-old enterprise-software market, what Gartner says for 2011 is true for this year and was true in 2001. The aircraft carrier turns slowly.
The lack of news and new research is about to change shortly as all the research houses put out their 2010 retrospectives. So I'll comment on it. But knowing what happened last year is not that useful to investing except to the extent that it informs the future. There's no more "a rising tide raises all boats."
So I'll explore some non news that will inform IT investing such as how developments in HTML will change the market, the evolution at Red Hat (RHAT) will matter to IBM and others that depend on open source as their R&D departments, the failure of Software as a Service (SaaS) to take off as the pundits predicted will morph the software deployment rules once again (fourth time in last 40 years), the further consolidation of the suppliers will affect companies such as Lawson (LAWS), Progress (PRGS) and TIBCO (TIB) that are looking pretty lonely in their independence, the strength of cloud computing will be in private clouds where you can't invest in it, and the fact that the enterprise software market is actually disappearing means all the leading companies will have to change their strategies (see the last paragraph of this December 2010 blog post)
-- Dennis Byron
(No financial interest in companies mentioned except for a few hundred shares of EMC)