SaaS market grows 40% as Microsoft challenges Salesforce

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Salesforce is still ahead in the enterprise space but Microsoft is edging ever closer with the help of Office 365

The enterprise SaaS market grew by almost 40 percent in 2015 and analyst Synergy Group forecasts that it will more than triple in size over the next five years.

Microsoft is now challenging for leadership in the enterprise SaaS market. In 2015 Microsoft grew its market share by almost three percentage points but was still a little way behind long-time leader [and loss-making] Salesforce, said Synergy.

However, Microsoft, helped by Office 365, is continuing to grow its SaaS revenues much more rapidly, said the analyst house. The other top ten players in the market are Adobe, ADP, Google, IBM, Intuit, Oracle, SAP and Workday.

Enterprise SaaS market SynergyMicrosoft achieved the second highest 2015 revenue growth rate among the top ten SaaS companies. SAP, Adobe, IBM and Workday all achieved 2015 growth rates in excess of 50 percent and Oracle too is now surging ahead.

The smaller consumer SaaS market is only a third of the size of the enterprise market and also has a lower growth rate. While it is not the leader in consumer SaaS, it is notable that Microsoft’s growth far outstrips that of other major consumer SaaS operators, Synergy said.

In many ways SaaS is a more mature market than other cloud markets like IaaS or PaaS,” said John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group. “However, even for SaaS it is still early days in terms of market adoption. It is notable that the big three traditional software vendors – Microsoft, Oracle and IBM – are all now growing their SaaS revenues faster than the overall market, and yet SaaS accounts for less than 8 percent of their total software revenues.”

This means there is far higher growth to come, said Dinsdale.

@AntonySavvas