Demand for travel and expense management (T&E) software grew significantly in 2019, according to market intelligence firm IDC, with the popularity of services from SAP Concur again boosting SAP’s position as the market leader.
"SAP Concur showed strong growth in 2019, driven by product enhancements and regional advances,” according to IDC’s report. Key milestones for the business in 2019 include Concur Invoice user experience enhancements, an SAP Concur China Development Center in Shanghai, China, and the launch of the U.S. Public Sector Resell program.
IDC’s new Worldwide Travel and Expense Management Software Market Shares report reviewed the competitive market for T&E software in 2019. SAP Concur had 54.1% market share in 2019 – and the total market grew from $2.0 billion in 2018 to $2.3 billion in 2019. SAP Concur Chief Marketing Officer Chris Juneau sees the market share report as validation of the organisation’s approach to serving customers in a fast-changing world.
“If gaining visibility and control into travel, expense, and other categories of spending was important in 2019 – and it was – it’s even more critical this year, when the world’s employers face unique challenges,” Juneau said. “Organisations are increasingly looking for solutions that provide seamless experiences for their teams. Ours has embraced the opportunity to deliver those experiences, while staying steps ahead of trends in analytics, automation, accounts payable invoice processing, digital payments, and more.”
IDC also reported that public cloud adoption in T&E dominated in 2019, with 83.9% of the market, and on-premises/other software rounding out the other 16.1%. The report noted cloud solution adoption in T&E is ahead of other enterprise application categories as businesses prioritise the benefits it makes possible, including improved availability, scalability, and real-time information.
“Enterprises need to leverage advanced technologies to augment their capabilities for streamlining approvals, combating fraud, and maintaining compliance,” according to Kevin M. Permenter, IDC’s research manager for Enterprise Applications. “Many of these technologies have taken large leaps forward in terms of usability and accuracy over the past 12 months. However, the market has a desire for more innovation from enterprise travel and expense software vendors.”
In addition to detailing competitive global market share, the IDC report outlines seven key qualities of a modern T&E solution, including the three detailed below:
Enhances Analytics Capabilities: Businesses are interested in analytics as part of their travel applications. Business intelligence and analytics improve visibility into employees' travel and spending patterns, in addition to employee travel management. With this added visibility, organisations can build more detailed and accurate spending budgets and forecasts.
Prioritises the User Experience: As the T&E processes are done in a relatively uniform way, vendors will likely find limited opportunity for differentiation related to the actual functionality of the software packages. The real battleground will be related to the user experience the vendor's software can provide. In fact, data from IDC's most recent SaaSPath Survey of over 2,000 survey respondents reveals that ‘ease of use’ is the most important vendor selection criteria among T&E software users.
Creates Intelligent Workflows: Organisations are using embedded intelligence, RPA, computer vision, and natural language processing to automate travel and expense tasks and guide decision making. Intelligent workflows save time, increase operational efficiency and, more importantly, add a layer of big data analysis that human beings simply cannot duplicate. Intelligent workflows for travel booking, itinerary management, approvals, and receipt processing differentiate applications in the market.
Learn more about what qualities to look for in a modern T&E solution and other key trends in the market by downloading the Worldwide Travel and Expense Management Software Market Shares, 2019: Analytics Drives a New Travel Paradigm report excerpt.