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£1 in every fiver that UK biz, public sector spent on software in 2017 went to *drumroll* Microsoft

Happiness is Adobe-shaped, misery looks more like Micro Focus and Oracle

Microsoft accounted for almost £1 in every £5 that Brit businesses and the public sector spent on software in 2017, unsurprisingly clinging to the top spot in the spend rankings.

The research, published by analyst TechMarketView (TMV), revealed a total of £7.353bn coughed on enterprise software – licensing, maintenance and SaaS – in the 12 months, up 2.5 per cent year-on-year.

Our friends in Redmond, while still at the top of the charts by a comfortable margin, saw a tiny 0.3 per cent of growth to £1.3bn. However, the impressive growth of its cloud business in 2018 should make for bigger numbers next year. The imminent price hikes adjustments aimed at enterprises won't hurt things either, unless more organisations follow Israel's example when presented with a move to a subscription model.

Second-placed Oracle, however, saw a decline in its UK revenues of nearly a full percentage point, down to £1.1bn. The Brit tentacle of Big Red had a stinker of a year in 2017, with slumping sales and profits as customers stayed away. TMV saw some cause for optimism in 2018, however, as Oracle continues its march into the cloud and brings the likes of machine learning to back-office functions. Not everyone agrees with that prognosis.

SAP, IBM and Sage – in that order – rounded off the top-five suppliers with the German vendor collating £800m in sales, Big Blue grabbing £725m and the accounting software biz getting £368m.

The biggest loser among the top-20 suppliers in the UK was ninth-placed Micro Focus, whose revenues dipped 6 per cent to £225m in 2017. Consuming HPE Software has left the firm with a severe case of indigestion as it struggles with clashes of sales cultures in the two organisations and a plethora of operational headaches. Those issues have accentuated declining sales and resulted in a pre-tax loss of $68.5m.

Enterprises do appear ready to experiment more with cloud and Software-as-a-Service offerings, as evidenced by Sage, but that increase was dwarfed by 10th-placed born-again cloud botherer Adobe, who saw a staggering 23.5 per cent leap in revenues to £209m in the UK. Fellow SaaS vendor Salesforce also saw a none-too-shabby 22.7 per cent UK revenue jump to £184m, putting it at 14th in the chart and demonstrating the willingness of enterprise purchasers to fly a kite or two into the cloud.

"Enterprises are becoming braver about who they place their budgets with," said TMV. "While the bulk is still spent with the largest of the established suppliers, senior executives are becoming more comfortable with challenger vendors."

Cloud revenues is projected to overtake licensing revenues in 2018 for the first time, the analyst said. ®

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