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IDC adds software to the digital transformation growth list

There are plenty of products that should see sales rise as a result of digital transformation projects and software is going to be one of them

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: MicroScope: MicroScope: January 2017

What we know so far is that there is barely a corner of the IT industry that is not expecting some boost from the digital transformation trend.

Turn up at any recent vendor event and it is a main topic of conversation and has dominated keynotes for most of this year.

At NetApp's recent event in Berlin the firm was waxing lyrical about the opportunity for data management and earlier this week Satya Nadella. Microsoft's CEO, told shareholders that business was becoming digital and that presented plenty of growth.

"As I travel and talk to customers, one of the most profound changes that’s happening in the world today is that every organization is becoming a digital organisation," he added "Our role is to ensure that the data is not just an exhaust, but is converted into actionable helpful insights and intelligence, as computing becomes more ubiquitous converting data into ambient intelligence that can fuel digital transformation is at the very core of our innovation agenda."

The views of the chief of one of the largest software companies in the world about the need to put digital transformation at the "core" of the agenda is a wise move given the expected increase in sales in that area.

Numbers from IDC show that Microsoft remains the largest player in the market across Western Europe and are tipping the software sector for more growth.

"We're seeing work patterns in Europe being transformed by new collaborative technologies enabling many types of work to be done anywhere, anytime. As a reflection of that, collaborative applications experienced double-digit growth in Europe during the first half of 2016. The transition to digital business models and focus on customer experience in Europe is also reflected in growth rates, where the CRM markets experienced an overall growth rate of 13% in constant currencies," said Bo Lykkegaard, associate vice president for the Software Tracker and Public Cloud Services Tracker at IDC.

Brexit has forced IDC to lower its estimates of growth in the UK slightly but this appears to be an unstoppable tide of spending as customers look to change they way they operate.

In terms of products the main areas for grow across Western Europe during 1H16, with year-on-year increases of more than 20%, included: dynamic data management systems, enterprise social networks, file synchronization and sharing software, network infrastructure software, security and vulnerability management, software-defined storage controller software and problem management.

Overall software sales in Western Europe improved 4.6% in the first half of this year with revenues hitting $48bn, with the analyst house forcasting the full year will come in at a record $100bn plus for the first time.

The move to cloud

On premise software sales grew 0.9% in the first half but that was dwarfed by the growth in public cloud services, up by 33.2%. Public cloud now commands 14.7% of the total share of the software market, an increase from the 11.6% it held in the first half of 2015.

Although the market is dominated by all of the household names, including Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, VMware and Adobe, IDC still describes the market as fragmented with the top ten vendors controlling less than half of the total market.

The strongest performance in 1H16 came from Salesforce.com, which saw its growth increase by 29%. The might provide some encouragement to other cloud players looking to take a slice of the market in the months and years ahead.

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