Gartner has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 in a report based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments.
Apple has come first again, beating the other 99 companies to the throne. According to Gartner, the company reached the first spot, as it was the largest vendor with more than US$218 billion in IT revenue in 2016. However, its revenue was less than the US$235 billion it achieved in 2015.
Even though Apple faced a decline in global revenue as a result of its slowing smartphone and tablet market, it was way ahead of Samsung Vendor Group, which nabbed the second rank in 2016 as well as 2015. Its revenue was marginally down, from US$142 billion in 2015 to $139.1 billion in 2016.
This put Apple well ahead of the Samsung Vendor Group by about US$79 billion.
According to Gartner, its declining smartphone and tablet market has resulted in the company’s focus on advanced consumer services and new technologies. Its digital media services and internet-based IT products and services segments showed multi-million dollar revenue in 2016.
As for the Samsung Vendor Group, Gartner said 2016 marked a decline in revenue for the company in most of the revenue categories, led by mobile phone revenue declining US$5.2 billion. Unlike its first-place-rated rival, Samsung its wide range of IT products and focus on the Nexus of Forces put it on the table.
The rivalry for the third, fourth, and fifth spots were between the same companies that made the top five in 2015 – Google, Microsoft, and IBM.
Google moved up two spots from 2015 to sit at third with its US$90.1 billion revenue. Microsoft slipped down one rank to come in fourth, with its US$85.7 billion revenue, and IBM moved down one rank too to take the fifth mark. IBM’s revenue for 2016 was US$77.8 billion.
The top five vendors' combined revenue dropped by US$8.8 billion in 2016.
According to Gartner, the top three vendors (Apple, Samsung Vendor Group and Google) attributed much of their size to their alignment with the so-called Nexus of Forces.
"The needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs are focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend," Gartner analyst and vice president, John-David Lovelock, mentioned.
"The Nexus of Forces has been the focus of attention for many years, however, the impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories."
It said Microsoft was a “large and influential company” when the Nexus of Forces began, having grown to market leadership during the web and e-business phase, and has managed to pivot to remain relevant.
It stated that IBM gained its size and market dominance in the very earliest IT markets when servers, storage and consulting services dominated.
“The need for these devices and services, along with mobile phones and PCs will remain — cloud will underpin all digital business initiatives — but they will become more commoditised and less of a driver for new projects and spending,” Lovelock added.
In the report, Gartner also identified the vendors that are digital giants – companies that have taken control of consumer interactions. It picked out Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba (ranked 31), Tencent (ranked 30) and Baidu (ranked 62) from the top 100 as companies leading this space.
Gartner predicted that by 2021, 20 per cent of all activities an individual engages in will involve at least one of the top seven digital giants.
"Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers," Lovelock said. "Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants."
He also mentioned that the focus of the digital giants has mainly been in the consumer, citizen and employee world, and said that because the digital giants have not yet been as focused on B2B, there is opportunity for other companies to take the lead.
"In the B2B world of selling technology solutions to large enterprises, some of the digital giants have already had significant impact.
“For example, Amazon Web Services' cloud is disrupting enterprise hardware and software businesses dramatically. Apple's iOS devices are dominant within enterprise mobility, and Google's presence beyond search into browsers, cloud office and more is growing,” he added.
The top 25 companies named in the somewhat exhaustive list are:
- Samsung Vendor Group
- Dell Technologies Vendor Group
- HP Inc.
- NTT Vendor Group
- Huawei Vendor Group
- LG Vendor Group
- SoftBank Vendor Group
- Fujitsu Vendor Group
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