Admittedly, enterprise software isn’t the sexiest topic in technology. But in terms of its value and relevance for day-to-day operations, enterprise application software (EAS) is crucial and forms the backbone businesses rely on to get things done.

EAS is a somewhat complex and ethereal term. It has varied meaning depending on who you ask, and applies to a broad range of technologies including business intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM), financial and accounting applications, and more. There are many household names among the established EAS vendors, but there are also many new vendors springing up to address specific needs.

Last year, Tech Pro Research conducted a survey to learn more about current use and future plans for enterprise apps. Survey participants shared valuable information such as which vendors they use, or were considering using, as well as why. They let us know what they like or dislike about various vendors, and what capabilities they were most interested in.

Fast forward to 2014. Using last year as a baseline, Tech Pro Research conducted a new survey and asked many of those same questions to see how things have changed from 2013. This year, the goal was to determine the current needs and to attempt to predict the future of EAS. Find out what the 196 respondents shared about EAS.

Download the Tech Pro Research research report, Enterprise application software: Future plans, favored vendors and best uses.

The current state of enterprise software

The primary focus of the survey was to find out whether companies are currently using enterprise software, or have any plans to do so over the next year. Figure A, as seen below, illustrates that 50% of all survey respondents are currently using some type of enterprise software — a decrease of 3% from the previous year. That breaks down to 34% who responded that they are currently using an enterprise software solution, and another 16% who indicated they are not only currently using enterprise software, but are also considering additional enterprise tools in the next 12 months. It is notable, however, that the percentage of organizations currently using an enterprise solution dropped from 40% to 34%.

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 Figure A

If you factor in the 29% who responded that they’re not currently using any enterprise software, but are actively considering adopting enterprise applications in the next 12 months, that 50% will jump to nearly 80% by this time next year if they follow through with adding EAS. Only about one in five companies seem to have zero interest in enterprise software right now.

More large companies using EAS

Just as in last year’s survey, there is a distinct and direct correlation between the size of the company and the use of enterprise application software according to the survey data. The overall numbers are very similar to last year. 75% of companies with 1,000 or more employees report using enterprise software — an increase from 68% in 2013.

The two categories in between — 50 to 249 employees, and 250-999 employees — both increased from last year as well with 63% using enterprise software. There was a drop, however — from 32% to 28% — among companies of fewer than 50 employees, as seen below in Figure B.

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 Figure B

Satisfaction levels remain high

As with last year's survey, respondents are still quite satisfied with their EAS software. when we asked survey participants how satisfied they are with their current enterprise software. As seen below in Figure C, 26% responded “Very satisfied” and another 61% answered “Somewhat satisfied.” That means that 87% of those using enterprise software are at least reasonably happy with what they’ve got. Last year, 76% of respondents reported being satisfied with their enterprise software.

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 Figure C

Overall, there was plenty of good news for EAS vendors in the report, as well as some things for them to look out for, such as cloud services threatening the continued growth of enterprise software.

Other EAS topics covered in the survey include:

  • Favored vendors
  • Reasons for satisfaction with software
  • Reasons for dissatisfaction with software
  • Favored applications
  • Predicted trends
  • Cloud services as an alternative

To read more on the subject, download the full Tech Pro Research report, Enterprise application software: Future plans, favored vendors and best uses.