Microsoft leading SaaS pack

Microsoft has clung on to its lead of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market set to double in size over the next three years, according to analyst Synergy Research.

The SaaS market grew by 32 percent year on year to reach almost $13bn in the final quarter of 2016, with ERP and collaboration experiencing the highest growth rates (see bottom), Synergy said.

Having edged out Salesforce as the largest player overall mid-way through last year, Microsoft remained the clear leader of the pack in Q4, the analyst claimed.

Synergy pinpointed Oracle and Google as among the quarter’s biggest gainers, the latter thanks to a big push for its G Suite collaborative apps.

Despite enjoying a lower growth rate than either Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service by dint of its relative maturity, SaaS sales will double over the next three years, Synergy predicted.

“There is a variety of factors driving the SaaS market that will guarantee substantial growth for many years to come,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy.

“Traditional enterprise software vendors like SAP, Oracle and IBM are all pushing to convert their huge base of on-premise software customers to a SaaS subscription relationship,” Dinsdale said. “Meanwhile, relatively new cloud-based vendors, such as Workday and Zendesk, are aggressively targeting the enterprise market, and industry

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