The global software market has held stable in the first half of 2012, growing by 4.7 percent to a volume of $167 billion, IDC said.
The global software market held stable in the first half of 2012, growing by 4.7 percent to a volume of $167 billion, IDC said.
According to the market research firm, even though Western Europe was the only geographic region with negative growth, it now believes that the software industry will be heading into a phase of much more subtle growth in the single digits. The U.S. software market gained about 6.8 percent in the first half of the year.
According to IDC, the applications segment, which holds about 49 percent of the entire market, was the fastest growing group with a 5.1 percent growth year over year. The primary growth drivers in this segment were Collaborative Applications and CRM Applications, both with close to 8 percent growth. Virtualization products fueled the two other main software markets, application development and deployment, and system infrastructure software.
Per IDC, the strong growth of enterprise social software has impacted the applications market significantly. While the category held only 3 percent of applications share in 2008, it was more than 11 percent in the first half of 2012, IDC said. Collaborative applications now hold a 15 percent share of all applications sold. In enterprise applications, customer service, marketing and sales saw the strongest growth rates at about 12 percent, while contact center fell into the single-digit range.
"The CRM applications market experienced a rebound effect in 2011 that is being carried through well into 2012. The 'century of the customer' has centered on increasing customer experience and, powered by social media, is motivating organizations to invest in their customer handling infrastructure," said Mary Wardley, program vice president, CRM Applications and Customer Experience. "The move to interact with customers when, where, and how they want is changing the go-to-market strategies of many organizations. Technology is now a requirement to be able to deliver consistency at scale."
IDC also noted that virtual machine and cloud system software and virtual client computing, were among the fastest growing software markets.
"Virtual machine software unit shipments still remain healthy and growing, but have seen some slowdown in mature markets that have high virtualization rates," said Gary Chen, research manager, Cloud and Virtualization System Software at IDC. "Business models are shifting as well, with the hypervisor drawing less direct revenue and increasingly becoming an embedded feature of operating systems and cloud system software. […] On the client side, virtual client computing remains on a steady growth path as the industry matures its solutions and customers begin to transform their desktops and workspaces."
Wolfgang GruenerWolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on cloud computing and disruptive technologies, and maintains the conceivablytech.com blog. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and market research, he previously published TG Daily and was managing editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.
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