Customer relationship management (CRM) has become the largest software market, both worldwide and within Australia, according to the Gartner market research organisation.

In Australia it is now “easily the largest software category, with revenue forecast to grow 20.6 percent to reach A$2.2 billion in 2018,” according to a new Gartner report.

It’s a similar story in New Zealand, Gartner says, with Kiwi-based CRM forecast to exceed NZ$200 million in 2018, up 19.5 percent from last year.

Globally, CRM software revenue amounted to US$39.5 billion in 2017,  overtaking DBMS (database management system) revenue, which reached $36.8 billion in the same year, according to Gartner’s latest CRM report.

And, it seems, you ain’t see nothing yet.  “In 2018, CRM software revenue will continue to take the lead of all software markets and be the fastest growing software market with a growth rate of 16 percent,” said Gartner research director Julian Poulter.

He added that the strong growth rate of CRM software revenue is driven in particular by the segments of lead management, voice of the customer and field service management, each of which is achieving more than 20 percent growth.