Enterprise apps set to grow

New research from IDC Canada indicates that the Canadian enterprise applications market will grow strongly in the next four years, driven primarily by the mid-market.

At a meeting of Canadian partners, users and media at SAP’s Sapphire conference last month in Orlando, IDC Canada’s vice-president of enterprise software, Joel Martin, presented the findings of a new study entitled, “Enterprise Applications and Improving Corporate Governance.”

IDC reports the market grew by 7.8 per cent in 2005 and predicts growth of 6.5 per cent in 2006. Martin projected that by 2010 the market will have grown 22 per cent over 2005 levels, reaching $1.6 billion.

“One of the things driving it is the mid-market, which (is saying) ‘I can do this now, I can execute, I can see how my company can benefit from enterprise applications,’” said Martin.

Looking more specifically at planned IT investments for 2006, 53 per cent said they plan to increase spending on information and data management software, 45 per cent on business performance and financial analytics applications, and 41 per cent will spend more on security.

Martin said companies want to capture both structured and unstructured data to get a full view of their business when making important decisions.

On the governance front, Sarbanes Oxley remains the top compliance concern. Enterprises are concerned with sustaining governance initiatives once underway, and Martin said companies are increasingly trying to ensure that governance issues don’t distract them from growing their business.

There’s a strong role for technology to play there, said Martin. Companies can achieve significant savings by more closely integrating compliance initiatives with their IT infrastructure. He noted that the survey indicated 50 per cent of an organization’s governance efforts are spent finding the right information multiple times.

SAP Canada president Bob Courteau echoed Martin’s comments, saying the compliance pressure on Canadian companies today is quite strong.

He added that while companies have traditionally under-invested in IT, market leaders are increasingly turning to IT as a competitive differentiator. “They’ve decided IT is part of the business, and the reason is because IT literacy has moved into the executive ranks,” said Courteau. “Canadian executives are now using IT as just a normal part of doing business.”

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