Globalization entails increased competition and more complex supply chains. Companies are meeting these challenges by investing in new, improved ERP solutions to streamline operations and simplify collaboration with suppliers, customers, and partners. Moreover, an increasing number of companies are doing business internationally, in part with new business models. Legislation and regulations are becoming more comprehensive, mergers and acquisitions are increasing as the economy strengthens, and many companies are moving from traditional manufacturing/distribution to more project-based and service-oriented business models. These drivers led to a successive recovery of the ERP market from the middle of the first decade of this century to the end of 2008, when the trend was broken and the market weakened in the wake of events in the global economy. These drivers will, however, continue to be a force in the long term.

Uncertainties surrounding the prospects for an upturn in global economic growth remain the major retardants of IT growth. This uncertainty has engendered the pessimistic business and consumer sentiment in evidence throughout much of the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution. Despite caution among buyers due to the prevailing macroeconomic environment, companies in need of a business solution have moved forward with their investment plans and the enterprise application market shows a slow but steady rate of growth of approximately 5 percent. The buying environment’s positive trajectory leads industry analyst firms such as Gartner to anticipate the ERP market to maintain such growth rate in 2014 or even increase a little to around 6 percent.

The competitive position has not changed lately and is not expect to change over the coming years. After the consolidations of recent years, SAP and Oracle remain the principal global competitors in the industries and processes in which IFS operates. In specific segments and geographic markets, IFS also competes with a number of niche vendors.

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