Worldwide spending on enterprise software, including CRM and supply chain management packages, looks set to exceed expectations and outpace other areas of the IT market in 2014, according to new stats released by analysts at Gartner.
Following a flat 2013, the market as a whole is set to expand by 3.1% this year to a total value of $3.7tn (£2.2tn), with enterprise software growing by 6.8% to $320bn.
Elsewhere, device spending should grow by 4.3% to $697bn, datacentre systems by 2.6% to $143bn, IT services by 4.5% to $963m, and telco services by 1.2% to $1.65tn.
In contrast, all sectors bar software and services contracted in 2013, according to the figures currently available.
Gartner managing VP Richard Gordon said he saw software investment skewing towards business analytics in both B2C and B2B environments, offering more evidence that big data will continue to be a key trend this year.
“The focus is on enhancing the customer experience throughout the pre-sales, sales and post-sales processes,” said Gordon.
The latest 2014 stats came in slightly below Gartner’s previous forecast for the coming 12 months, which had overall growth at 3.6%.
Gordon explained that a slowdown in telecoms spending was to blame for the downward forecast, noting growth in wireless-only households, declining voice rates in China, and more frugal usage in Europe as affecting the numbers.
A cut in the forecast for external controller-based storage and enterprise comms apps, which represent 32% of total datacentre system end user spending, saw this segment’s outlook decline as well.
On the device side, Gartner said convergence of PCs, ultramobiles and mobile phones, as well as erosion of margins, would be a key feature of 2014, as differentiation “will soon be based primarily on price instead of devices’ orientation to specific tasks”.