Cloud computing is just one of the big IT trends shaping the future of digital systems, according to research from Gartner. Instead, the company has suggested that a series of different factors are contributing to a 'Nexus of Forces' which will shape the future of IT.

Gartner has identified four different forces which collectively make up the nexus. While each of these has had a transformative impact on its own, the collective power of all four is rapidly altering the nature of digital business.

The four forces are cloud computing, social media, big data and mobile computing through smart phones and tablets.

For example, cloud computing and mobile devices have enabled employees to take their work on the road, without suffering any loss of functionality compared to their desk-bound colleagues.

In particular, the Nexus of Forces will be a driving factor behind the global software market, especially for areas like business management software. In fact, Gartner estimates that 26 per cent of enterprise software revenue will be driven by this nexus as early as 2017.

Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner, pointed to the increased change that this trend will bring to software developments, while warning that companies have yet to catch up with these innovations.

"Starting in 2014, the enterprise software markets will undergo their greatest level of disruptions, growth and new opportunities since the year 2000," said Mr Eid.

"While there has been a great deal of excitement from the vendor community regarding cloud, information, mobile, social, and other forces and technologies, adoption in organisations and businesses has yet to catch up with the hype."

With these trends set to accelerate in the next few years, now might be a good time to invest in new technologies in order to stay ahead of the competition.