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Information Technology Mapand IT Road Map


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Information Technology Mapand IT Road Map

  1. 1. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 Information Technology Map and IT Road Map (Second Half of Fiscal 2005) Masatoshi KOMEICHI is a senior researcher in the Information Technology Research Department of the Advanced Information Technology Division of NRI. He is an IT analyst and engaged in researching and analyzing IT trends. His specialties include technologies related to servers and the ubiquitous network. He is a member of the Ubiquitous Networking Forum Planning Committee. Hirohide ICHINOSE is a researcher in the Information Technology Research Department of the Advanced Information Technology Division of NRI. He is an IT analyst and engaged in researching and analyzing IT trends. His specialties include technologies related to IP networks, IP telephony, digital home appliances with communications capabilities, voice interface, etc. Makoto SHIROTA is a researcher in the Information Technology Research Department of the Advanced Information Technology Division of NRI. He is an IT analyst and engaged in research- ing and analyzing IT trends. His specialties include the middleware area such as EAI/BPM and SOA, grid computing, security technology, etc. 1 Information Technology Map 2 IT Road Map 1 Road Map for Next-Generation IP Networks 2 Road Map for Open Source Software 3 Conclusion In the midst of the rapid development of information technology (IT), the environment surrounding IT, which includes broadband networks, mobile terminal devices and information devices, has also been changing at a rapid pace. In order for a business enterprise to make a suitable IT investment, it is nec- essary to understand the objective positioning of the technology that is usable at present. At the same time, an enterprise must map out a technical strategy that predicts the trends of the important technolo- gies available in the future. Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) names such activity “IT naviga- tion.” Since 2001, we have been creating the information technology map and the IT road map as part of this activity. Keywords: Information technology map, IT road map, IPv6, NGN (next-generation networks), open source 1 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 1 Information Technology Map The information technology map is designed to pro- gies commonly used in many projects; and the vide guidelines for activities that make the best use of “legacy field,” which includes matured technologies each type of information technology. This map pro- with few technological changes. Generally, a technol- vides a bird’s eye view of numerous information tech- ogy appears from the advanced field in the upper nologies that are currently available and objectively portion of the map and gradually moves down to the positions these technologies. NRI has been regularly legacy field in the lower portion. creating this map since 2001. Each point indicated on the map corresponds to a Figure 1 shows an information technology map single technology. Names of some of the technolo- that was created in the second half of fiscal 2005. gies that have recently seen some changes are plot- The horizontal axis of the map categorizes the tech- ted on the map as representative technologies. nologies by field. Specifically, it is broadly divided Technologies marked with an arrow are those that into 13 fields covering areas from “management” to have greatly advanced in maturity in the past six “terminal technologies.” The vertical axis shows the months. They are “ITIL (Information Technology maturity of the technology. It is divided into three Infrastructure Library),” “.NET Framework,” fields: the “advanced field,” which includes technolo- “BPM/BAM,” “open source DBMS,” “video confer- gies that are used in projects requiring state-of-the-art encing, Web conferencing” and “enterprise informa- technology; the “core field,” which includes technolo- tion portal (EIP).” The arrows indicate the extent of Figure 1. Information Technology Map for the Second Half of Fiscal 2005 Operational Development Server Content management language Databases hardware Security knowledge Development EAI and Enterprise Terminal Management method middleware Server OS Networks applications technologies Lightweight container Semantic Web Business O/R mapping framework continuity Agile software development MDA Linux X: Advanced SOA (Kernel 2.6) technology ESB 64-bit RFID servers RSS BPM/BAM ITIL Open source EA application Blade servers server Biometrics Windows2003 Open source Content Open source integrated development development for DBMS environment (IDE) mobile phone Thin client Y: Core Video conferencing, terminals technology Web conferencing Project Web service management EIP Linux Single sign-on Project management tools (Kernel 2.4) Wireless LAN Content management C# .NET Framework BI Data mining Windows2000 IP-VPN, wide-area LAN, MAN Z: Legacy Automatic backup technology Visual Basic POS, handy terminals Mainframes COBOL Technologies with substantial growth in number of keyword search hits Technologies that have greatly advanced in maturity Notes: EAI = enterprise application integration, EIP = enterprise information portal. 2 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 changes in maturity; the starting point of an arrow intelligence (BI),” “semantic Web” and “thin client ter- represents the maturity of a technology six months minal” have seen substantial growth in the number of ago, and its ending point represents current maturity. hits in keyword searches of magazines such as those These technologies, which have greatly advanced in published by Nikkei BP and are receiving increased maturity in the past six months, are already widely attention. With respect to these technologies, accord- distributed and can be used on a secure basis. ing to the maturity of a technology, consideration Technologies such as “business continuity,” “light- must be given to conducting surveys on technological weight container,” “O/R mapping framework,” trends, acquiring technology through R&D activities “agile software development,” “open source inte- and promoting the widespread use of the acquired grated development environment (IDE),” “business technology. 2 IT Road Map The IT road map is designed to support client compa- which a vast amount of objects is connected to IP net- nies and the NRI Group in making decisions on IT works. However, because such a plan faces two strategies by presenting a highly precise view of each major problems at the network level, seamless use of technology field up to five years in the future. NRI is these systems will not be made possible easily. continuously creating road maps for technology fields The first issue relates to the fact that various net- that are expected to play important roles in the future. works are separated. The other issue involves that the This paper introduces the trends of next-generation IP IT industry has no experience in developing a system (Internet protocol) networks and open source software in which 20,000 – 300,000 objects are connected from among these technologies. to IP networks by means of IPv6. The following sec- tion explains these problems in detail. 1 Road Map for Next- (1) Problem 1: Various networks are Generation IP Networks separated. For five years, from 2000 to 2004, progress has Currently, networks are separated for specific pur- been made in the field of wired communications tech- poses, such as mobile phone networks, fixed tele- nologies with the aim of promoting the spread of phone networks, broadcasting networks, closed IP broadband services. These efforts have contributed to data networks for each carrier (broadband, public the development of general broadband-related tech- wireless LAN, etc.) and the Internet. Mobile phone nologies. In June 2005, the domestic household pen- networks, fixed telephone networks and broadcasting etration rate of broadband services (DSL, CATV, networks are non-IP networks, and cannot use IP to FTTH) reached 44 percent (20.58 million sub- connect devices. On the other hand, while the scribers), making broadband services commonplace, Internet enables IP connections all over the world, the even at home. level of connection quality and security differs During the period from 2005 to 2010, technolo- depending on location. Under the status of separated gies to achieve the ubiquitous network society are networks, it is not easy to operate applications requir- expected to enter the stage of practical use. For ing high reliability on a network. example, the retail industry plans to implement RFID However, both domestic and overseas providers (radio frequency identification) technology around have started to give this point increased attention, 2008. If this plan is realized, a system will emerge in and have accelerated activities for standardizing 3 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 all-packet networks known as the NGNs (next- Accordingly, the implementation of NGN will generation networks) in place of conventional enable system integrators to offer their users ser- circuit-switched networks. Innovations from circuit vices with guaranteed communications quality switching to IP are under way all over the world. and security. While NGN is often considered the generic term (2) Problem 2: No experience to connect for new networks in the ubiquitous network era, the large numbers of objects to IP ITU-T (the International Telecommunication Union; the networks by IPv6. Telecommunication Standardization Sector) considers NGN as the future infrastructural network for commu- While NGN is expected to resolve the issue of “a nications carriers and is facilitating standardization variety of separate networks,” the problem of how activities to develop standard technology specifica- system integrators can connect 20,000 – 300,000 tions and products on a worldwide basis. An outline objects to IP networks remains. To resolve this issue, of the specifications developed by ITU-T for NGN is expectations are given to IPv6 that can allocate an as follows: essentially indefinite number of addresses to objects. The current IPv4 can only assign a maximum of • All-packet networks (based on IP; a shift from 255 non-unique worldwide IP addresses on a net- switching equipment to routers) work unit (subnets). However, IPv6 can assign more • Providing a wide range of multimedia services than 4.3 billion unique worldwide IP addresses on a including voice, video and data network unit. In addition, IPv6 can offer additional • Guaranteeing the quality of service for terminal- functions to facilitate object-to-object communications. to-terminal communications according to network These include automatic address setup, security func- quality and the capabilities of user terminals tions such as authentication and encryption, QoS • Ensuring interoperability with existing networks (quality of service) functions to guarantee the quality • Achieving advanced mobility such as ubiquitous of communications and multicast functions to deliver access by terminals by means of IPv6, etc. voice and video signals efficiently. • Fixed-mobile convergence to provide fully seam- However, the IT industry has little experience in less communications developing a system that connects a vast amount of • Separating service functions and transport objects to IP networks by means of IPv6. The decision functions to enable the independent develop- on whether to use IPv4 or IPv6 is generally left up to ment of application services (Figure 2) a system integrator. Many system integrators believe there will be no problem in the development of a net- work if the products supporting IPv6 are available Figure 2. Basic Principles of NGN when IPv6 becomes necessary. However, the intro- Separation of service and transport functions duction of new IP network technology often encoun- ters unexpected incidents in the initial projects. There Video (TV, movie, etc.) may be many system integrators who have had bitter Data (Web, E-mail, etc.) experiences in developing wireless LAN and IP tele- Telephone phony systems. The introduction of IPv6 requires ade- quate preparations such as carefully acquiring and Service functions verifying the technology in advance. The system inte- grator that can take the lead ahead of other compa- nies in preparing a specific scenario, acquiring Transport functions technologies related to the design, development and management of an IPv6 network, and identifying 4 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 problems through actual device verification tests will data between objects, simultaneous usage of multi- be able to secure a firm position as a solutions ple content distributions by means of IP cameras, provider. IP speakers and IP displays, and the use of high- At the same time, some projects that used IPv6 to definition, life-size video conferencing for telemedi- develop a system suggest that the time required to cine and distance learning such as for piano lessons. design, develop and manage a system can be reduced. For example, a system integrator, FreeBit, a. Fiscal 2005 – 2006: Start of practical use of IPv6 used IPv6 for a project to introduce 20,000 IP tele- and 1 Gbps optical service phones at about 300 sites throughout Japan. FreeBit Some communications carriers including NTT East reported that the use of IPv6 for the IP addresses of are already providing commercial IPv6 services for telephones made the system simple, substantially consumers. By fiscal 2006, the use of IPv6 will be reducing the costs for design, implementation and expanded to a wide variety of objects such as IP operations of the network. This example will not video telephone sets, IP cameras and digital home apply in all cases. Nevertheless, it shows the possibil- appliances. Further, innovative providers will also use ity of generating differences in costs when a system is IPv6 for wireless communications. developed by IPv4 or IPv6. It is about time to verify With respect to broadband networks, ADSL-based the cost advantages of the use of IPv6. 10M network services will enter the maturity stage in Figure 3 shows a road map for next-generation IP fiscal 2005, and FTTH-based 100M optical network networks. This figure also includes giga broadband services will move to the spreading stage. While the networks in addition to NGN and IPv6. This is representative application in the 10M network era was because a shortage of communications bands is IP telephony, the use of video applications such as assumed as a result of using a variety of applications video distribution and video conferencing will expand requiring large-capacity networks. The assumed in the 100M optical network era. In addition, some usage includes the exchange of a vast volume of communications carriers have already started 1Gbps Figure 3. Road Map for Next-Generation IP Networks FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Beginning stage of Establishment of standard specifications Spreading stage practical use 3GPP Release 5 3GPP Release 6 3GPP Release 7 KDDI: Completion of KDDI: Ultra 3G Half of NTT (completion of IMS (wireless LAN linkage) (full IP) IP telephone networks mobile infrastructure subscribers will NGN specifications) BT in UK: VoIP introduced use NGN ETSI NGN Release 1 ETSI NGN Release 2 Completion of IP Integration with wired Adoption (multimedia, xDSL, WLAN) telephone networks and wireless BB (dynamic resource optimization, FTTx) of IMS ETSI NGN Release 3 Reference ITU-T NGN Release 1 ITU-T NGN Release 2 (fully nomadic, VDSL, WiMAX) Era of IPv4 Era of IPv6 IPv6 Start of commercial Start of IPv6 home Start of IPv6 mobile Start of IPv6 automobiles Start of IPv6 sensor network IPv6 service appliances phones IP phones, IP broadcasting Start of IPv6 mobile communications (YOZAN) Start of IPv6 RFID readers 100M optical network 100M optical network maturity stage spreading stage Giga 1G optical network 1G optical network beginning stage broadband spreading stage Start of 1G optical Full-scale use of 100M optical services Full-scale use of 1G optical service service (K-Opticom) Full-scale use of video applications Start of high-definition video applications Notes: ETSI = European Telecommunications Standards Institute, TISPAN = Telecoms & Internet Converged Service & Protocols for Advanced Networks, FGNGN = Focus Group on Next Generation Networks, 3GPP = 3rd Generation Partnership Project, IMS = IP Multimedia Subsystem. 5 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 optical network services, signifying the launching of users. However, because the existing Internet will large-screen, high-definition video distribution. For remain, it is not the case that all systems will be devel- example, by employing the industrial standard GE- oped on the NGN infrastructure. While the Internet is PON (Gigabit Ethernet-Passive Optical Network) tech- basically a best-effort network with no guarantee for nology, in July 2005, K-Opticom began the world’s QoS and security, it nevertheless provides the advan- first optical network service offering a maximum com- tage of low usage costs. munications speed of 1 Gbps for PCs at home on an Accordingly, when NGN starts to spread, system interactive basis, although this is best-effort service. integrators must decide which to use, NGN or the Internet, for each service. For example, a highly reli- b. Fiscal 2007 – 2009: NGN beginning stage (start able NGN-based network will be selected for appli- of phased implementation by carriers) cations requiring real-time data exchange although Standard NGN specifications are being released on a costs will increase. At the same time, the Internet, phased basis, and the preparation of standard specifi- offering best-effort quality but at low costs, will be cations is slated for completion in 2008. Actual imple- used for applications whose principal purpose is sim- mentation of these specifications by carriers will start ple, large-volume data transfer. around 2007 on a phased basis. At the first stage, a While this is only one example, system integrators fixed telephone network owned by a carrier and are required to make full preparations to enable the closed IP data networks for each carrier will be inte- quick selection of NGN and/or the Internet. Such grated. During this period, seamless connections of preparations include the identification of system networks of different carriers will not yet be achieved. requirements such as QoS, security level, costs, com- Turning to IPv6, some carriers will use IPv6 for munications areas, etc. mobile phones, which will greatly facilitate the In addition, a company ordering the development spread of IPv6. At the end of fiscal 2007, networks of a system should also keep in mind these differ- used to link information equipment such as a car nav- ences in order to avoid extra costs by selecting igation system in a car and those used for various NGN. types of control will also be developed by IPv6. 2 Road Map for Open Source c. Fiscal 2009 – 2010: Spreading stage of NGN, Software IPv6 and 1G optical networks Regarding NGN, in addition to fixed telephone net- A wide array of open source software as represented works, mobile phone networks and broadcasting net- by Linux has already been used in the fields of OSs works will be integrated into closed IP data networks and programming languages. The use of open for each carrier. NGN-based networks will also start source software will continue to expand in the future. to be used for services requiring high reliability in The following section introduces trends in open terms of quality of service (QoS) and security from source software, chiefly in the fields of business appli- among data communications services. cations and integration middleware (Figure 4). Regarding IPv6, most devices such as RFID readers and devices consisting of sensor networks will support a. Open source business applications IPv6, and a full-scale shift from IPv4 to IPv6 will occur. Open source software is also being increasingly By that time, 1G optical network service will used in the field of package applications such as ERP become commonplace, and further high-speed com- (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer munications service will be offered around 2009. relationship management). In particular, the struggle By using NGN as an infrastructure, system integra- for a share with commercial products will become tors will be able to offer highly reliable systems to intense in the SMB (small and medium business) 6 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 Figure 4. Road Map for Open Source Software Fiscal 2004 – 2006 Fiscal 2007 – 2008 Fiscal 2009 – 2010 Practical-use stage of second- Practical-use stage of Practical-use stage of open open source integration Overall generation open source software source business applications middleware (JBoss, MySQL) JBoss (mainstream) Application JBoss achieved J2EE certification Apache Geronimo (innovative users) Apache Geronimo (spreading stage) servers JBoss acquired No. 1 market share (US) IBM started support for Geronimo Individual open source software products Geronimo achieved J2EE certification CRM (SugarCRM) (innovative users) CRM (SugarCRM) (mainstream) Business Start of SugarCRM project applications ERP (Compiere) (innovative users) ERP (Compiere) (mainstream) Start of SugarCRM Japanese localization project Start of Compiere Japanese localization project jBPM (innovative users) jBPM (mainstream) Start of ActiveBPEL BPM project ActiveBPEL3.0 Apache Agila (innovative users) Apache Agila jBPM 3.0: Supporting BPEL (mainstream) Start of Apache Agila jBPM: ESB functions will be added IONA announced Celtix project ServiceMix (innovative users) ServiceMix (mainstream) IONA released Celtix 1.0 Celtix, ServiceMix and Synapse may be merged ESB ServiceMix 1.0 released Apache Synapse (innovative users) Synapse (mainstream) Apache announced Synapse project market where high licensing costs impede the intro- launched to develop integration middleware such as duction of commercial software. BPM and ESB. Currently, one promising open source business A point worthy of note in the field of open source application is SugarCRM. This software has already BPM engines is compliance with the BPEL (Business been downloaded more than 260,000 times world- Process Execution Language) standard specifications. wide. The number of customers who have purchased All representative open source BPM projects such as SugarCRM Professional that consists of the commer- ActiveBPEL and jBPM either conform to BPEL or are cial version (with strengthened functions) provided by under which development to achieve compliance is SugarCRM Inc. linked with support services amounts under way. In particular, ActiveBPEL is highly matured to 250. The business model adopted by SugarCRM in terms of technology. In October 2004, jBPM Inc. is to enable users to examine ease of use and joined the JBoss family and supports BPEL in its latest quality based on the open source version with only version, jBPM3.0, released in June 2005. In the the core functions and to generate profits by selling future, jBPM is expected to strengthen integration with the multi-function commercial version (including sup- other JBoss middleware products as represented by port services) for enterprises. JBoss application servers. Besides these moves, the Apache Software Foundation is developing Apache b. Open source integration middleware: BPM and Agila in its incubator project. Even though the first ESB version is not yet released, future progress deserves BPM (business process management) and ESB (enter- attention because this is the project implemented by prise service bus) play an important role in effectively ASF that has many achievements in this field. introducing SOA (service oriented architecture). In the ESB field, in June 2005, IONA Technologies Some open source projects have already been announced its Celtix open source ESB project based 7 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 on its commercial ESB product, Artix. The company this limitation can conversely bring about an advan- plans to release the first version this year. Gluecode tage of close links among family products, the fact Software, which developed Apache Geronimo (an that there are more options is attractive for a user application server), is also promoting the ServiceMix who is considering the use of other OSs such as project. It released its first version in August. Service Linux. Mix has a high affinity with Geronimo and supports In and after 2006, the number of adoptions of JBI (Java Business Integration), which is the Java open source software is expected to smoothly standard specification. Other projects worthy of increase in Japan through further maturity of prod- attention include the Synapse project, which is under- ucts, the improvement of support quality and support going incubation at the Apache Software Found- (in the case of DB) for business applications such as ation. Commercial ESB vendors such as Sonic ERP and CRM offered by major vendors including Software, Blue Titan and IONA Technologies have SAP. been cooperating in this project. Because vendors With the expansion of market share of these open that already have expertise in ESB are taking the source products, vendors offering commercial products lead in this project, it is highly likely that Synapse will be forced to take countermeasures such as lower- may reach the level of practical use at a surprisingly ing licensing fees to maintain price competitiveness. fast pace. d. Fiscal 2007 – 2008: Practical-use stage of open c. Fiscal 2004 – 2006: Practical-use stage of source business applications second-generation open source software As explained in the previous section, a number of Between 2004 and 2005, second-generation open open source projects have been launched in the source software such as JBoss, MySQL and United States for business applications such as CRM PostgreSQL emerged and vitalized the open source and ERP. Among these projects, Japanese localiza- software market. As explained previously, such soft- tion is under way for two promising applications of ware has already been adopted by many enterprises SugarCRM and Compiere that already have many principally in the United States and Europe, and is customers, principally in the United States. Some ven- even being used in mission-critical areas. dors will offer support services for these applications The fact that many enterprises endorse such software in Japan. However, these vendors will focus their is due not only to advantages specific to open source efforts on the SMB market, which is not fully covered software such as no costs and the ability to acquire by major vendors including SAP. source codes but also to features such as good perfor- Because small and medium businesses will have the mance and scalability. Most companies that have advantage of reduced licensing fees, it is highly likely implemented such software conducted benchmark tests that these applications will also penetrate into the prior to its introduction to verify performance. In many Japanese market if support by reliable vendors cases, they decided on its adoption after ensuring that becomes available. Moreover, in the same way as such software can perform in a way that is not at all with DB software, the spread of these applications inferior to commercial products although it is affected may also affect the setting of prices by major vendors. by the environment to some extent. During this period, continued efforts will be made Another of the features is that any platform can be to enhance the functions under the open source BPM used. For example, in the case of Database (DB) soft- and ESB projects that commenced one after another ware, a user can select any hardware or OS (Linux, from 2004 to 2005 through repeated release of new Windows or Unix) according to its business and tech- versions. With respect to jBPM offered by JBoss, nical requirements. In contrast, Microsoft’s commer- whose application servers are also penetrating into cial DB, SQL Server, only runs on Windows. While the Japanese market, plans include the addition of 8 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. NRI Information Technology Report 2006 vol. 7 visual design tools and the integration of ESB func- application server—IBM may commit to the develop- tions in addition to the native BPEL support that was ment of ServiceMix (Gluecode Software acquired by realized in Version 3.0. When version upgrades IBM is a core member of the ServiceMix development decline in frequency, support service for jBPM will be project) and strongly promote its development and started in Japan chiefly by vendors providing support support. In this case, IBM is expected to position this services for JBoss application servers. Concurrently open source version as the entry model of its commer- with such moves, some innovative users will start cial ESB products as it did for Geronimo. using this software. In the future, it will become possible to integrate Open source ESB projects will still be in their dawn- individual applications developed on an open-source ing stage during this period. ESB projects that were basis such as SugarCRM at low costs and control launched in 2005 are likely to be consolidated their business processes by using open source inte- because of overlapped participating vendors and gration middleware such as ESB and BPM. similar project concepts. However, many points require careful attention in the development of systems through combining the e. Fiscal 2009 – 2010: Open source integration open source software that is appearing one after middleware (BPM and ESB) entering the stage another. Performance, reliability and security of indi- of practical use vidual software applications differ substantially. On top Around this period, open source for enterprise appli- of this, it becomes increasingly more difficult to guaran- cations will enter the stage of practical use, will pene- tee such attributes when multiple open source software trate principally into small and medium businesses products are combined. In addition, frequent version and will acquire a certain level of market share. upgrades and frequently implemented security patches BPM and ESB will also be entering the stage of make it further difficult to ensure such vital factors. practical use. jBPM will grow to the level of threaten- In order to overcome these points for the spread of ing commercial products in the same way that JBoss open source software in the future, vendors must application servers do. establish an environment and structure enabling users Three ESB projects, namely Celtix, ServiceMix and to use open source software without concern and Synapse, are highly likely to be integrated. If not, enhance support services. Specifically, vendors respective developer companies such as IONA should conduct verification tests on any open source Technologies and Sonic Software will position their software combinations in addition to individual open open source versions as entry models of their com- source software items, and should guarantee opera- mercial products. In either case, during this period, tion and conduct fault management. functions will mature and will reach the level of practi- In the United States, venture firms such as Source cal use. Some users may adopt this middleware in Labs and SpikeSource have already been offering place of commercial products. There is also a possi- such services. In the future, the emergence of vendors bility that—in the same way as it did for its Geronimo providing similar services in Japan is anticipated. 3 Conclusion This paper introduced the information technology NRI hopes to contribute to the formulation of IT strate- map and the IT road map as part of NRI’s IT naviga- gies by our client companies as well as by the NRI tion activities. By carefully monitoring any future envi- Group. ronmental changes involving information technology, 9 Copyright © 2006 Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. All rights reserved.