Cloud computing solutions, led by SaaS (software as a service), will be key to the growth of IT spending over the course of 2014, according to a report published by Forrester this month.
Analysts estimate that $2.22 trillion (£1.35 trillion) will be invested in the IT industry in the coming year, so while traditional areas of the market may be feeling the squeeze, the growth of cloud migration will be helping providers of this technology to prosper.
Software will still be the biggest single source of spending in 2014, although the outsourcing of IT services is catching up. And while America still sits at the top of the table in terms of overall investment, China will see bigger growth as it races to catch up with its Western rivals.
In Europe an end to the prolonged financial instability caused by the financial crisis of 2008 will help to buoy the IT market further, according to report spokesperson Andrew Bartels.
Britain will lead Europe in IT spending, with a 6.5 per cent increase anticipated as investment roars over the £60 billion mark. And Bartels said that nations like the UK should use this new found vitality in the industry to fuel further growth and pursue innovations.
Cloud HR solutions from CIPHR and other firms will prove to be important this year, as more and more businesses decide to shift away from total reliance on in-house hardware towards a remotely hosted and managed software solution that is financially viable and innately scalable.
Big data shake-up
Big data is seen as another important area of the IT market in 2014, with organisations choosing to harness the analytical powers of the cloud to help them cope with the perpetually growing stores of information they are generating.
Big data solutions are capable of identifying trends and formulating future strategies across a range of industries. At the moment they are being used for everything from predicting patient wellbeing in healthcare organisations to developing products in the manufacturing sector.
Since SaaS and big data are remotely hosted and managed, they are also more affordable than you might imagine. This allows smaller firms to get a slice of cutting-edge IT without being put in a precarious position because of budgetary strain.
Mobility is being highlighted by analysts as an area in which spending growth is assured this year, and chief information officers (CIOs) are being advised to prepare for yet more employees embracing BYOD (bring your own device) whether or not their employer’s systems are prepared for the influx.
The rise of mobile and remote working is tied comprehensively to the increase in cloud computing usage, both in private cloud facilities and public platforms offering SaaS. In fact a growing proportion of companies are turning to a hybrid setup to make the most of both formats.
Although predictive analysis of the IT market can be proven wrong, it does seem that spending will be dictated by the shape of the cloud market this year