If there’s one sector that excites investors most, I believe it would have to be the information technology sector. There’s good reason for this. The S&P/ASX 200 Information Technology (Index: ^AXIJ) (ASX: XIJ) sector has outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) by some distance in the last five years.

During this time the S&P/ASX 200 index has gained 16%, whereas the S&P/ASX 200 Information Technology index has jumped almost 43%.

The sector is filled with some of the fastest growing companies on the Australian Stock Exchange, providing their shareholders with great gains in the last few years. Whilst not all information technology shares are worth investing in, there are at least four which I think could be considered great long-term investments today. They are as follows:

Aconex Ltd (ASX: ACX)

Aconex is definitely one of the market’s darlings at the moment. Shareholders of the software-as-a-service company have seen the value of their shares skyrocket by over 200% in the last 12 months thanks to the strong adoption of its product. Its popular cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry has been growing its user organisations at a very strong rate, and recent acquisitions could be the catalyst for an acceleration of its overseas expansion plans.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

Appen is a provider of language technology data and services in more than 140 languages and dialects to leading companies and government agencies. This is a very exciting Australian technology company with a bright future ahead of it, in my opinion. Although just a relatively small company at the moment, Appen has an impressive and profitable business that counts tech giant Microsoft amongst its clients. With no debt and strong earnings growth predicted, I believe Appen deserves a place on your watchlist today.

Freelancer Ltd (ASX: FLN)

Freelancer is a rapidly growing company which connects small and medium-sized businesses with freelancers via the largest outsourcing marketplace in the world. As of the last quarter its marketplace was connecting over 18 million employers and freelancers across 250 countries worldwide for a great variety of jobs. These included everything from software development to accounting jobs and would typically cost employers a fraction of what they would pay for a regular contractor.

XERO FPO NZX (ASX: XRO)

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software provider with a great deal of potential. I have been especially impressed with the stickiness of the product. Such is the quality of the service, the company boasts an average customer tenure of seven years with a churn rate of close to 1%. I am most excited about its international expansion. If Xero can attain the same level of success it has locally in the lucrative British and North American markets, then it could grow into an incredibly profitable business. Xero is an outstanding company and definitely worth keeping a close eye on, in my opinion.

Finally, if you're still on the look out for even more great investment options then I feel it is worth checking out these three fantastic blue chip shares. They all pay fully franked dividends and could provide investors with share price gains on top of these, in my opinion.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. I contribute to The Motley Fool as a freelance writer and the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own, not that of The Motley Fool’s.