Microsoft retains top spot while Salesforce.com breaks into top 10.
Oracle has ousted IBM to record the second-highest software revenue last year, putting it just behind Microsoft, as Salesforce.com also broke into the top 10 vendors for the first time.
Total software revenue came to $407.3bn in 2013, nearly a 5% increase from 2012, according to analyst firm Gartner’s latest look at the global software market.
While Microsoft led the pack with earnings of $65.7bn, Oracle narrowly beat IBM with $29.6bn compared to $29.1bn, while SAP lagged in fourth place on $18.5bn.
Chad Eschinger, research VP at Gartner, said Oracle’s takings represented 7.3% of the market.
He added: "There is a shift in vendor rankings from 2013 at the top of the worldwide software market.
"Global trends around big data and analytics with business investment in database and cloud-based applications helped to drive Oracle’s top-line growth."
Customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce, recorded $3.8bn in revenue last year, up from $2.8bn the year before, representing a jump from 12th to 10th position, putting it behind CA Technologies ($4.2bn) and VMWare ($4.8bn).
Its inclusion in the top 10 bolstered Gartner’s position that cloud is proving to be a significant factor behind the shift in software vendors.
Analyst Joanne Correia said: "Cloud is driving the bulk of this change as software vendors acquire and provide applications and infrastructure technology to support the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) movement.
"A clear indicator of this is that for the first time we have a pure cloud vendor in the top 10."
Of the top 10, seven recorded higher earnings than the previous year, while HP experienced the highest drop in revenue – $2.7bn.
Salesforce recorded the highest growth, at 33.3%, and joined the top five for application revenue.
Investment analyst John Rizzuto said investors are backing companies that are seen to be growing market share in cloud computing and digital marketing, even if it is at the expense of revenue.
"Investors are favouring those companies that are early and aggressive in grabbing both market and mind share – in many casesdismissing progress on earnings and cash flow in hopes that they will one day follow," he said.