For roughly the past decade, CxOs have raised integration and interoperability to the top of the annual charts of IT Priorities. CIOs must be very leery of the “Are We There Yet?” queries about Information at your Fingertips especially given the Security and Reliability sidetracks. The executive suite is looking for business process and data integration.

However, ISVs also see this trend and need. Revenue growth and earnings have been relatively healthy in BI-Business Intelligence , BPM-Business Process Management, and EAI-Enterprise Application Integration . But other software toolmakers have seen a downturn in their double digit annual sales growth rates declining into the teens or less. At the same time, competition from Open Source is rising. In such large markets from application servers (BEA, IBM, Oracle, Sun) to CMS-Content Management Systems (Documentum, Filenet, Microsoft, Vignette) through database (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sybase) to ERP-like data sourcers (Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, etc) there is a new direction – and it is to enter into the prospering BI, BPM, and EAI markets.

So it is not a surprise that convergence is zeroing in on the software BI, BPM, and EAI arenas because that is where the action is (including a large number of new venture capital startups) and growth alsewhere is tapering if not completely plateaued. And of course this same phenomenon is happening in other software and hardware sectors. Convergence is being fed by both organizational need and ISV supplier survival – this is the Convergence Imperative permeating IT in this decade.

(c) JBSurveyer 2005