The economomic downturn has boosted the take-up of system management software. That's according to IDC which has found that the market for system and network management software has grown four percent over the past year.

Furthermore, according to the report, Western European Systems and Network Management Software Forecast, 2010–2014, the research organisation is expecting a compound annual growth rate of seven percent by 2014, taking the market's value to $5.7 billion.

The growth rate in 2009 was slightly higher than expected. "We had predicted a low single-digit growth, but at 4 percent the market experienced a higher than expected growth," said Patrick Bihammar, research manager, Infrastructure Software, IDC Europe

He said that the sector experienced some resilience. "In today's challenging economic climate, IT budgets continue to be under pressure and organisations are looking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in managing IT. Systems management solutions are well aligned to help address these operational cost and efficiency challenges. IDC expects that organisations will invest in IT management and automation to help manage growing complexity, reduce operational costs, and improve the quality and level of service that IT delivers to the business. Market drivers will include the strong focus on IT process improvement and automation, as well as the need for virtualisation and cloud management."