Cloud projected fastest IT industry growth in 2014

Cloud will be the strongest technology sector in 2014 with software-as-a-service [SaaS], business intelligence [BI], and analytics set to be the top performers in the coming 12 months.

Analysts at Forrester expect the three segments to achieve double-digit growth over the coming 12 months with SaaS in particular seeing the highest level of growth at over 20 per cent in 2014.

“The combination of strong growth in new software categories and restored growth in older categories will help make software the leading tech category. That also helps the US tech market, because the US has an almost 60 per cent share of SaaS and analytics spending,” said Andrew Bartels, VP and principal analyst serving CIOs at Forrester.

Bartels also expects the continuing adoption of SaaS to adversely affect IT services revenue growth in 2015 and in the year following that. Even with this being the case, Bartels fully expects the entire world economy to start moving in the right direction in the next 24 months and the technology sector to benefit.

“Beyond 2014, we are expecting a strengthening global economy in 2015 will propel global tech market growth higher across the board, but with software growing at double-digit growth rates for the first time in many years,” Bartels said.

The growth of cloud software isn’t all bad news for the traditional on-premises software categories, which has suffered in slow-growth markets during 2012 and 2013. Bartels expects the sector to “revive” in 2014 with Europe, Asia and emerging markets seeing particularly sustained growth.

Forrester’s projections are just the latest in a series of heady predictions relating to the cloud’s influence on the IT industry as whole in 2014. IDC figures show that cloud adoption and big data are set to push global IT expenditure past $2 trillion [£1.2 trillion] in 2014 as even more firms jump on the cloud services bandwagon.