Consolidation in key industries such as financial services and telecommunications (key markets for new middleware vendors in the past) has reduced the number of potential customers and hence increased the competition in those markets.
The increasing sophistication of the industry giants in dealing with new entrants: A smaller vendor must face a wide variety of onslaughts from aggressive sales tactics such as the giving away of expensive software to the promotion of OSS projects allied with service delivery capabilities.
While both the concerns about vendor viability and the sales tactics used by the giants are entirely legitimate, one wonders about the impact on the overall rate of innovation in the IT industry.
The disappearance of Cape Clear must cause specific pain for existing enterprise customers now concerned about the future of the products upon which they depend.
However, one must wonder more generally what the impact longer term of the hardening of the markets against new innovators will be on all enterprise users.