A workstation is an advanced computer designed for scientific and technical applications. Workstations are professionally designed for high-end user applications including digital content creation, finance modelling, and software engineering among others. Workstations can run multi-user operating systems and are featured with a redundant array of independent disks, SSDs, and optimised GPUs. The global workstation market is projected to register a CAGR of 9.8% in terms of value and 4.3% in terms of volume during the forecast period 2016–2026.
The global workstation market can be segmented on the basis of – Product Type (Tower Workstation, Mobile Workstation, Rack Workstation, Blade Workstation, All-in-One Workstation); Operating System (Windows, Linux, Unix); and Application (Digital Content Creation, Economic/Finance, Engineering, Scientific, Software Engineering, Other Commercial). The Windows Operating System is expected to expand at a comparatively high CAGR in terms of value over the forecast period – estimated to account for a relatively high value share of 90.7% by the end of 2016. This segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.9% over the forecast period.
The Mobile Workstation segment is estimated to account for a revenue share of 23.7% in the global workstation market by the end of 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. Mobile workstations come with high-end computing features such as faster graphics processors, powerful CPUs, and additional memory, which offer a combination of professional and business features and advanced hardware that has been optimised for stability, reliability, and performance. The product cycle of the mobile workstation is very long and can be as long as three years and above in some cases as compared to other workstation segments. Mobile workstations are in high demand across the globe owing to better performance and advanced features that find adoptability in a wide array of applications such as digital content creation, economic/finance, and software engineering.
Market drivers and trends
A growing demand for 3D animation software, digital content creation, and networking and graphics is expected to fuel the growth of the global workstation market over the forecast period. However, longer replacement cycles and increasing competition from alternative computing platforms that deliver quality, high performance, and value can pose major challenges to the sustained growth of this market over the next few years.
The global workstation market is likely to witness several big trends in the next 10 years. A few notable trends include migration of PC and Apple Mac users to workstations, an increase in the global demand for virtual workstations, a rising preference for mobile workstations in oil and gas exploration applications, a growing demand for tower workstations in digital content creation applications, and a high demand for mobile workstations in software engineering applications.
The North America region is projected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period and is anticipated to have a higher market share as compared to other regions due to a growing demand for digital content creation. In terms of value, North America is estimated to account for a significantly high market share of 40.4% by the end of 2016 and the market in the region is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.6% over the forecast period. The Mobile Workstation segment is estimated to account for a high market share of 35.5% in the North America market by the end of 2016. The workstation market in APEJ is estimated to account for 22.3% value share by the end of 2016 while Western Europe and Eastern Europe are estimated to account for 27.8% and 2.6% value share respectively by the end of 2016.
Hewlett-Packard, Dell Inc., Lenovo Group Limited, Fujitsu Ltd., and NEC Corporation are some of the leading companies operating in the global workstation market.