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News feature: ERP on the rise, report finds

This is a derivative of 'data.path Ryoji.Ikeda - 4' by r2hox, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rh2ox/The number of small to medium-sized businesses investing in new software is on the increase, a new Gartner report says.

The research organisation estimates that the amount of investment by SMEs in IT last year reached around $930 billion — a growth of 4%.

Of that investment, software spend accounted for almost 20% at $179bn — an increase of nearly 10% on the year before.

Spending in small businesses — with employees between 1 to 100 — dwarfed that of larger organisations (between 500-999 staff members) with more than $32bn invested by smaller firms.

Gartner expects investment in software by SMEs to continue to increase within the next two years. By 2017, spending is predicted to top more than $100bn, compared with $65bn by larger organisations.

Meanwhile, a separate report by Lumenia, ERP Market Review, Spring 2014, found that SAP dominated the competitive landscape. SAP earned an ERP global market share of 25%, with its nearest competitor being Oracle (13%), followed by Sage (6%), Infor (6%) and Microsoft (5%).

The Lumenia research found how firms have tended to avoid larger ERP projects during the economic downturn in favour or smaller implementations. However, improved integration tools have witnessed the rise of Hub/Spoke architectures — where a Tier 1 ERP solution, such as SAP Business One, is the hub and a Tier 2 solution are the spokes.

The report added that increased merger and acquisition activity has driven the increase of Hub/Spoke architectures where different versions of software are used in two different companies that have come together.

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