German software company SAP hopes to employ more than 600 people with autism by 2020. Reuters

German software giant SAP has been named the overall market share leader in the worldwide business intelligence (BI) market, which spans BI platforms, corporate performance management (CPM) suites, analytic applications and performance management.

According to the April 2012 report, titled Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2011, issued by IT research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., SAP ranks No. 1 with 23.6 percent share of the worldwide market based on revenue for 2011, reflecting a 19.5 percent growth from 2010. SAP is followed by Oracle, SAS Institute, IBM and Microsoft.

It is great to see recognition of our leadership in the BI, CPM, analytic applications and performance management markets from Gartner, said John Schweitzer, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, SAP.

Our portfolio represents the future of analytics with real-time, mobile and social capabilities that give business users access to information so they can make better-informed decisions that leads to improve financial and operational performance.

According to Gartner, worldwide BI platform, analytic applications and performance management (PM) software revenue reached $12.2 billion in 2011, a 16.4 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $10.5 billion. The BI, analytics and PM software market was the second-fastest growing sector in the overall worldwide enterprise software market in 2011.

The strong growth was driven by two major forces. The first is that IT continues to spend and earmark money to BI, despite constrained budgetary environments. Gartner's 2012 CIO survey showed that analytics and BI is the No. 1 technology priority for CIOs in 2012. BI projects remain relatively shielded, while a healthy portion of any discretionary money will be available for upcoming analytic initiatives, said Dan Sommer, principal analyst at Gartner.

Second, new buying centers are opening and expanding outside of IT, in line-of-business initiatives, and taking an increasingly large stake of the spending pie. Key drivers for this are self-service data discovery tools, the race among vendors to provide business context through packaged analytics, and CFOs taking a renewed interest in BI and Performance Management.

In 2011, the market is still dominated by traditional on-premises solutions linked to PCs, said Sommer.

However, key forces like cloud, mobile, social and big data will play a key role in increased adoption over the next 10 years, and help shift the centre of gravity away from BI and analytics being only an enterprise IT push adopted by key stakeholders in lines of business, to one with a strong focus on the individual context, inside and outside the firewall.