How A $4 Trillion Tech Market Was Radically Changed In 2014

IBM MaskReutersAn IBM labour union employee wears an anonymous mask.

Businesses worldwide spent about $US3.8 trillion on technology in 2014, according to market research firm Gartner.

And 2014 was a radical year of change for this market.

Companies stopped buying and installing all of that equipment themselves. They started renting more of it, hosted elsewhere, and paying as they use it. This is known as cloud computing.

Not only did businesses change the way they buy tech, they are also buying new types of tech including more mobile devices and “big data” apps that analyse and predict business trends.

Microsoft named its third-ever CEO, long-time exec Satya Nadella, from Microsoft's cloud business.

Even as Steve Ballmer became Microsoft's largest stockholder, he resigned from Microsoft's board and left tech altogether. He bought the L.A. Clippers basketball team.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also gave up the CEO role to become CTO and Executive Chairman.

Ellison was a co-founder and the company's only CEO, holding the job for 37 years. Everyone thought he would be CEO until he died.

HP announced some radical new technology that will challenge all of its rivals: 'The Machine'' a mouse-less computer called 'Sprout'; and a 3D printer.

After HP increased layoffs to 55,000 and a merger with EMC reportedly fell through, HP CEO Meg Whitman announces HP would split itself in two.

... and Symantec's new CEO Michael Brown cleaving Symantec into two.

Symantec CEO Michael Brown

Look back: Symantec Is Chopping Itself Into Two Public Companies

Apple signed a huge partnership deal with IBM to help sell more iPads and custom apps to the enterprise

IBM also signed deals with Twitter and SAP, sold a server unit, and its chip business, spent billions on the cloud ...

Cisco announced a controversial but gutsy plan to build $1 billion cloud, too.

Cisco CEO John Chambers speaks to the troops

Look back: Analyst: Cisco's New $US1 Billion Cloud Computing Plan Is Ingenious But Risky

... was hit by an unlikely but dangerous new competitor: Facebook ...

Facebook Wedge network switch

Look back: Facebook Just Fired A Huge Shot At Cisco

... and sued Arista Networks, a hated rival formed by many ex-Cisco execs ...

Arista Networks rings the bell at the NYSE

Look back: A Fed-Up Cisco Is Suing A Hated Rival Founded By Cisco Defectors

Hackers used the cloud to have a huge year, too. They nabbed nude celebrity photos from their iPhones via iCloud ...

Not to mention the hack on Sony, which caused 'The Interview' to be released online not just in theatres.

Meanwhile, a little startup called Docker suddenly became the most important company.

And investors devoured the first 'Hadoop' IPO, Hortonworks. Hadoop is a new kind of big data database, the Oracle of tomorrow.

But cloud storage darling Box didn't go public. It's running away from the cloud industry's 'race to zero' price war.

And Zenefits, a cloud HR software startup with a radical new business model, became the new Valley darling..

Now, let's look at tech industry paychecks ...

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at