Software - UK - February 2015
“Such are the advances in sales of the software sector that the post recession flat economy merely stunted growth in the market. 2014 saw a return to double-digit growth and the continued challenges of corporate cost control and adding value in the enterprise sector will further stimulate the market over the next few years. Software as a Service is developing into a major quantum change in the market, offering lower initial capital expenditure to the corporation, and security against both technological capability advancements in software and potential growth in the corporation. At the same time, it offers secure long-term income to the software industry.”
– Terry Leggett, Senior Analyst
This report addresses the following key questions:
- How will the market develop over the next five years?
- What will be the key market drivers?
- What industries offer the best prospects?
- Will software as a service continue to impact the total market?
- Which products will benefit most from end-use market trends?
Software is a unique market in that the expression “clouds on the horizon” is a strong positive observation. No longer are those clouds on the horizon, they are here now, and will continue to represent a market with the potential to account for some 60% of all software sales. At the same time expenditure on business intelligence has been a high priority for companies in the past few years, but there has been a degree of procrastination with the effects of the stagnant economy that followed the recession. This has been partly fuelled by the limitations on investment capabilities, but is also a reflection of the delay encouraged by waiting for software developments to be furthered. The emerging data-as-a-service trend is likely to change this conceptual thinking, allowing corporations to constantly benefit from improvements in software capabilities and therefore reduce purchase obstacles. The other major trend that has become established in the marketplace is that enterprises will focus on providing mobile users with access to data and data applications.
This report is concerned with software sales in the UK. Software is the collective term for computer programs, which are instructions in code telling a computer what to do in response to specific user inputs.
There are four major areas of software referred to in this report:
Operating systems. Every generalpurpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers.
An application is a program, or group of programs, designed for the end user. Whereas systems software provides behindthescenes coordination and support, applications are frontend resources people use to get things done. Applications software may be customdesigned by or for an individual corporate user, developed and sold as part of a computer hardware system with its own proprietary operating system, or developed and marketed independently for use on one or more of the standard operating systems, also referred to as offtheshelf software.
Custom software (also known as bespoke software or tailormade software) is specially developed for some specific organization or other user. As such, it can be contrasted with the use of software packages developed for the mass market, such as commercial offtheshelf (COTS) software, or existing free software. Large companies commonly use custom software for critical functions, including content management, inventory management, customer management, human resource management, or to fill the gaps present in existing software packages.
Middleware is a computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It mediates between two separate and often already existing programs. Typically, it supports complex, distributed business software applications.
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