The merger of enterprise applications with underlying infrastructure will be one of the most important tasks for companies to complete over the next two years, according to analysts AMR Research.
AMR has termed the requirement as "applistructure". The analyst said demand for applistructure is being driven by web services and service-orientated architectures (SOAs).
To deliver applistructure, an integrated and complete set of applications and infrastructure are established. The components may come from different suppliers but are managed and guaranteed by a single one.
According to AMR, a successful applistructure comprises five elements: to continuously decrease the operational cost of information technology, permit a fast and flexible reconfiguration of business processes, deliver secure and reliable service levels, permit upgrades and product enhancements on the fly, and allow different technology providers as well as custom/legacy code to plug and play seamlessly.
"These five requirements are far from reality today and the last requirement in the list will be the hardest for companies to deliver," said AMR analyst Erik Keller.
The four main companies developing such software are IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, according to AMR.