On Friday, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) software business merged with Micro Focus, creating one of the largest pure-play enterprise software companies in the world, the companies announced.

In an $8.8 billion transaction, the two software companies will focus on helping their customers extend existing software investments, with a focus on DevOps, hybrid IT, and security, according to a press release.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Micro Focus, and I am honored to be leading this team,” Chris Hsu, CEO of Micro Focus, said in the release. “We are bringing together a powerful combination of technology and talent uniquely positioned to drive customer-centered innovation at enterprise scale – enabling organizations to maximize the ROI of existing software investments while embracing the new hybrid model for enterprise IT.”

Business leaders anticipate that more of their applications will reside in third-party data centers in the near future, but still must content with critical legacy applications as well, according to a recent report by the Harvard Business Review cited in the release. Therefore, hybrid IT will become the dominant enterprise approach, and developing strong hybrid IT capabilities will be a competitive advantage, the report said.

SEE: Special report: Riding the DevOps revolution (free PDF)

Micro Focus delivers enterprise-scale solutions in the following areas, according to the release:

DevOps: Supporting the rapid delivery of quality, secure applications with end-to-end visibility across a toolchain of commercial and open source offerings.

Hybrid IT: Simplifying the management of a complex mix of platforms, delivery methods, and consumption models to help organizations address business needs, control costs, and ensure availability and performance at global scale.

Security and risk management: Securing data, applications and access; powering security operations and governance to mitigate risk and maintain compliance; and harnessing the power of secure DevOps practices to ensure end-to-end risk management.

Predictive analytics: Helping customers translate siloed data into real-time proactive analytics at scale, anchored on supporting open and cloud-based stacks to create new insights across applications, operations, security, and the business.

“Our business strategy remains sound: bringing together software assets that deliver a high degree of value to our investors and an expansive solution portfolio to our customers so they can maximize the value of existing IT investments and adopt new technologies – essentially bridging the old and new,” Kevin Loosemore, executive chairman of Micro Focus, said in the release.

The merger follows another hybrid IT partnership from HPE: Earlier this week, HPE and the VMware Cloud Foundation announced an “industry first” composable infrastructure for VMware private clouds, to make it easier for businesses to pursue hybrid IT initiatives, deploy private cloud IaaS, and lower VM costs, as TechRepublic’s Conner Forrest reported.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. On Friday, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) software business merged with Micro Focus, creating one of the world’s largest pure-play enterprise software companies.

2. The companies will extend their enterprise software offerings in the areas of DevOps, security, predictive analytics, and hybrid IT.

3. The merger is valued at $8.8 billion.