Forrester says on-premise will “revive” in 2014 despite SaaS surge

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

IT growth in 2014 will exceed 2013, but it will be another year until we see “strong” growth in the global tech market, according to the latest report from Forrester Research.

The paper, entitled ‘A Better But Still Subpar Global Tech Market In 2014 And 2015’, pretty much does what it says on the tin, predicting that business and government IT purchasing will increase 6.2% in US dollars in 2014, aside from purchases of telecommunications services.

This is a “distinctly better” return than 2013’s 1.6% growth according to Forrester’s Andrew Bartels, writing on the company’s official blog, who warned that even with 2015’s more impressive growth rate of 8.1% in US dollars, it will be a far cry from the “double digit” growth rates of the late 90s’ tech boom.

The global IT spending predictions are intriguing, but CloudTech readers’ interests will be piqued by the trends underpinning this growth. Not surprisingly, Forrester sees cloud, along with mobile and smart – business intelligence and analytics – as driving software expansion.

Software as a service (SaaS) will grow at over 20% per year, according to the analysts, yet this doesn’t mean the end of on-premise; Forrester sees a revival in 2014, particularly in Asia, Europe and the emerging markets.

Plenty of tech experts stress the need for both on-premise and cloud in IT operations, particularly Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak when he spoke to CloudTech back in October, explaining: “I like the mixture of the two…I don’t want to see it go all the way away from your local backup, local songs, local TV shows right on your machine.”

Also of little surprise is the huge growth of software and services, with hardware slipping aside from tablet sales. “The combination of strong growth in new software categories and restored growth in older categories will help make software the leading tech company,” Bartels explains.

However, Bartels notes “a modest recovery” for laptops and other PCs.

It’s a view which was shared by IDC in its end of year notes. Worldwide total PC sales were at 349.4m in 2012, which dropped to 314.2m by 2013.

By 2017, IDC forecast that global PC sales would be at a stable 305.1m. The analyst house called this figure “slightly positive”, but it resonates with Forrester’s verdict.

The overall landscape appears to be solid, if not spectacular. But what do you think?

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