Mobile and cloud reign as tech's top moneymakers

In KPMG survey of top tech execs, mobile and cloud exceed revenue forecasts, and analytics and IoT lurk as next cash cows

According to a survey conducted by U.S. audit, tax, and advisory company KPMG, tech executives in the United States report that mobile and cloud revenues aren't only the top drivers for revenue in their companies, but are exceeding revenue forecasts from the previous year.

KPMG's survey tapped 100 C-level and senior-level executives in the tech industry; 74 percent of them are from companies that earn $1 billion or more in yearly revenue, and the rest are from companies earning between $100 million to $1 billion.

For all those companies, 53 percent say mobile revenues topped their 2013 forecasts, and 46 percent claimed their cloud revenues for the same year were above expectations. But in the future, the biggest driver of growth for those companies isn't expected to be mobile or cloud, but D&A (data and analytics), which 51 percent of the respondents ranked as their top growth driver. Mobile and cloud came in this year at 41 percent and 40 percent respectively, with security at 28 percent and consumerization of IT and IoT (Internet of things) both at 19 percent.

The changes from last year's survey hint at how attitudes have shifted for each of these topics. In 2013, D&A placed third behind cloud computing and mobile, at 33 percent. Where security was at 28 percent last year, it's nearly doubled in importance since then.

The author of the report, Gary Matuszak, Global Chair, KPMG Technology, Media, and Telecommunications, claims that IoT is emerging as the next major revenue driver for such companies for the years to come. At the very least, it has become more prominent as a discrete subject in the minds of those surveyed; in last year's survey, IoT didn't even make the list of major revenue drivers at all. But it isn't clear how the term was defined for the sake of the survey (or if the term was simply used as-is), since IoT is a fluid concept that can be applied generically to many different applications, as InfoWorld's Galen Gruman has noted.

Another change from last year: Respondents don't expect revenues to rise as dramatically as before. Last year, 79 percent believed revenues would increase; this year, it's "about 8 out of 10." But the amount of the increase is believed to be on the order of 1 to 5 percent this time around, rather than the 6 percent or greater increase predicted by most of them last year.

The survey also revealed some other topical winners and losers in the eyes of the executives. Automotive technology was a big winner, as 60 percent of respondents had plans to invest in some variety of it. When it came to crowdsourcing systems, though, only 25 percent said they planned to invest in it, while 55 percent said a flat-out no to any such investments and 20 percent were still on the fence. Finally, most of those profiled -- 86 percent -- cited the need to "create competitive differentiation" as the main driver of change in their business.

This story, "Mobile and cloud reign as tech's top moneymakers," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.