The next two years could prove very good ones for tech, if new data from Forrester proves accurate.
The research firm is predicting that the global technology market will grow by 5.4 percent in 2013, before accelerating to 6.7 percent in 2014. Analytics, Big Data, mobility, collaboration and cloud technologies will drive much of that spending, especially in developed markets such as the United States. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenues will grow two or three times faster than “traditional” license-and-maintenance software.
Forrester defines the “global technology market” as business and government purchases of hardware and software, as well as IT outsourcing and consulting services; it does not include purchases of telecommunications services.
Forrester’s findings mirror the conclusions of other research firms. Back in November, Gartner published a research note suggesting that businesses were gravitating more toward the SaaS model. “The U.S. and European respondents indicated their strongest driver was to replace existing on-premises applications,” Charles Eschinger, research vice president at Gartner, wrote in a statement at the time. “Markets, such as the U.S. and EMEA are mature with existing enterprise systems and are beginning to use SaaS as a replacement for legacy applications.”
That could be good news for business-analytics vendors devoting more resources to building out a cloud portfolio. IBM, SAP, and Oracle all offer analytics via the cloud, often in addition to software stored on local drives; smaller IT vendors, which lack the resources of those tech behemoths, tend to focus on products that adhere to the SaaS model from the start. The growth in analytics and the cloud could also benefit Amazon, whose extensive IT infrastructure hosts many companies’ products.
A Rising Tide
Forrester’s forecast suggests that a more buoyant U.S. economy will trickle down to the tech sector over the next two years. “While the strong dollar is hurting US exports and government spending is on a downward path, we think the US economy is likely to grow by 2 percent to 2.5 percent in 2013, which will lead to faster tech spending,” Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels wrote in a Jan. 3 blog posting. “In contrast, most of Europe is in a recession or close to one, so its tech market will barely grow.”
Forrester also believes that an anemic Japanese economy will slow the overall Asia-Pacific tech market, even as Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa all enjoy some degree of growth.
While analytics apps and other technologies could enjoy the increased revenues that come with a lifting tech market, not all companies will see the immediate benefits. “In computer equipment,” Bartels added, “Apple tablets and Mac PCs will continue to take share from Windows PCs, with the introduction of Windows 8 PCs and tablets helping Microsoft to end the decline of 2012 but not bringing much growth until 2014.”