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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Software market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

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 general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs. Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognising 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 behind-the-scenes coordination and support, applications are front-end resources used by people to get things done. Applications software may be custom-designed 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 off-the-shelf software.

Custom software (also known as bespoke software or tailor-made software or proprietary software) is software that is specially developed for a specific organisation or user. It differs from software packages developed for the mass market, such as commercial off-the-shelf (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 gaps present in existing software packages.

Middleware is computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It mediates between two separate and often existing programs. Typically, it supports complex, distributed business software applications.

Market Segmentation

  • Operating System
  • Middleware
  • Applications
  • Custom Software

Company Profiles

  • Micro Focus International/Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • IBM United Kingdom
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Oracle Corporation
  • SAP (UK)

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Terry Leggett, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The software market is now increasingly appearing to be economically independent, being driven by technological capability and improvements. The software as a service model, rather than subscription pricing, has classified software as a scalable running cost rather than a capital investment, which has assisted growth when other markets have faltered amid the uncertainties created by Brexit Terry Leggett
Senior B2B Analyst


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Back in growth
              • Figure 1: Market for software, 2014-18
            • Different layers
              • Figure 2: Segmentation of software market, by type, 2018
            • Packaged software gaining market share
              • Figure 3: Segmentation of software market by packaged and proprietary products, 2014-18
            • Hugely fragmented end-use market
              • Figure 4: Software market segmentation, by sector, 2018
            • Prospects for packaged software are strongest
              • Figure 5: Forecast segmentation of the software market, 2019-23
            • Companies and brands
              • An acquisitive sector
                • A global sector
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • The Brexit impact
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Expanding big data
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Return to growth
                                  • Market share change
                                    • Major end-use differences
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Past disruption but the market is now firmly in growth
                                        • Figure 6: Market for software, 2014-18
                                    • Market Segmentation

                                      • The various layers
                                        • Figure 7: Segmentation of software market, by type, 2018
                                      • Enterprise software segmentation
                                        • Figure 8: Segmentation of enterprise application software, 2018
                                      • ERP
                                        • Office suites
                                          • Business intelligence
                                            • CRM
                                              • SCM
                                                • PPM
                                                  • ECM
                                                    • DCC
                                                      • Web conferencing
                                                        • Different trends in packaged and proprietary software
                                                          • Figure 9: Segmentation of software market by packaged and proprietary products, 2014-18
                                                      • Sales by Industry Sector

                                                        • Overview
                                                          • Figure 10: Software market segmentation, by sector, 2018
                                                        • Agriculture/forestry
                                                          • Figure 11: Trends in software sales to the agricultural sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Mining and quarrying
                                                          • Figure 12: Trends in software sales to the mining and quarrying sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Manufacturing
                                                          • Figure 13: Trends in software sales to the manufacturing sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Electricity and gas
                                                          • Figure 14: Trends in software sales to the electricity and gas sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Water
                                                          • Figure 15: Trends in software sales to the water sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Construction
                                                          • Figure 16: Trends in software sales to the construction sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Retail and wholesale
                                                          • Figure 17: Trends in software sales to the retail and wholesale sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Transport and storage
                                                          • Figure 18: Trends in software sales to the transport and storage sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Accommodation and food service
                                                          • Figure 19: Trends in software sales to the accommodation and food service sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Information, communications/broadcasting and publishing
                                                          • Figure 20: Trends in software sales to the information, communications and publishing sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Insurance, finance and banking
                                                          • Figure 21: Trends in software sales to the insurance, finance and banking sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Real estate
                                                          • Figure 22: Trends in software sales to the real estate sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Professions
                                                          • Figure 23: Trends in software sales to the professions sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Administration
                                                          • Figure 24: Trends in software sales to the administration sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Public administration
                                                          • Figure 25: Trends in software sales to the public administration sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Education
                                                          • Figure 26: Trends in software sales to the education sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Health
                                                          • Figure 27: Trends in software sales to the health sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Arts and entertainment
                                                          • Figure 28: Trends in software sales to the arts and entertainment sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Other services
                                                          • Figure 29: Trends in software sales to the other services sector, 2014-18
                                                        • Residential
                                                          • Figure 30: Trends in software sales to the residential sector, 2014-18
                                                      • Market Forecast

                                                        • Growth returns to the market
                                                          • Figure 31: Forecast market for software, 2019-23
                                                        • Prospects for packaged software are strongest
                                                          • Figure 32: Forecast segmentation of the software market, 2019-23
                                                      • The Impact of the Economy

                                                        • GDP
                                                          • Figure 33: GDP overall quarterly development, Q1 2015-Q4 2018
                                                          • Figure 34: GDP quarterly development, by sector, 2004-18
                                                          • Figure 35: Forecast GDP development, 2019-23
                                                      • Market Trends

                                                        • Artificial intelligence
                                                          • Blockchain
                                                            • The cloud impact
                                                              • CRM extending use
                                                                • Social media
                                                                  • Cyber security
                                                                    • Low-code
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • Internet usage, 5G and the Internet of Things
                                                                        • Figure 36: Growth in worldwide internet usage, by region, 2000-19
                                                                        • Figure 37: Proportion of businesses with internet access, by size of company, 2017
                                                                        • Figure 38: Worldwide connected devices installed, 2015-17 actual and 2018-25 forecast
                                                                      • The cloud
                                                                        • Figure 39: The cloud computing market 2014-18
                                                                        • Figure 40: Estimated adoption of cloud computing, by function, 2017
                                                                        • Figure 41: Proportion of companies purchasing cloud computing services, by sector, 2017
                                                                      • Cyber security
                                                                        • Figure 42: UK market for computer security products and services, (£ million)
                                                                        • Figure 43: Segmentation of the computer security market, 2018 (£ million)
                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Constant change
                                                                        • The cloud factor
                                                                          • AI and ML
                                                                          • Industry Structure

                                                                            • Overview
                                                                              • Business and domestic software
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Development of the business and domestic software publishing industry, 2013-18
                                                                                • The customisation sector
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Development of the computer consultancy industry, 2013-18
                                                                                  • Other software publishing
                                                                                      • Figure 46: Development of the other software publishing industry, 2013-18
                                                                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                    • Public or hybrid cloud?
                                                                                      • Two different perspectives
                                                                                        • Consolidation/acquisitions
                                                                                          • Major acquisition accompanying usual expansion targets
                                                                                            • AI attracting major acquisition activity
                                                                                              • A global market but very different strategies
                                                                                              • Company Profiles

                                                                                                • IBM United Kingdom
                                                                                                  • Activity
                                                                                                    • Performance
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Financial performance of IBM United Kingdom, 2013-17 (£ million)
                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Turnover segmentation of IBM United Kingdom, 2017 (£ million)
                                                                                                    • Strategy
                                                                                                      • Micro Focus International
                                                                                                        • Activity
                                                                                                          • Performance
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Financial performance of Micro Focus International, 2014-18 $ million)
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Revenue analysis of Micro Focus International, 12 months to October 2018 ($ million)
                                                                                                          • Strategy
                                                                                                            • Microsoft Corporation
                                                                                                              • Activity
                                                                                                                • Performance
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Financial performance of Microsoft, 2014-18 (£ million)
                                                                                                                • Strategy
                                                                                                                  • Oracle Corporation
                                                                                                                    • Activity
                                                                                                                      • Performance
                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Financial performance of Oracle Corporation UK, 2014-18
                                                                                                                      • Strategy
                                                                                                                        • SAP (UK)
                                                                                                                          • Activity
                                                                                                                            • Performance
                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Revenue analysis of SAP, 2014-18 (€ billion)
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Analysis of the source and application of SAP revenues, 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Financial performance of SAP (UK), 2013-17 (£ million)
                                                                                                                            • Strategy
                                                                                                                                • Activity
                                                                                                                                  • Performance
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Revenue development of, 2014-18
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Revenue breakdown for, 2018 ($ million)
                                                                                                                                  • Strategy
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                                                        • Further Sources and Contacts

                                                                                                                                          • Trade associations
                                                                                                                                            • BASDA
                                                                                                                                              • British Computer Society
                                                                                                                                                • British Software Alliance
                                                                                                                                                  • techUK
                                                                                                                                                    • Trade magazines
                                                                                                                                                      • CRN
                                                                                                                                                        • Computer Weekly
                                                                                                                                                          • Computing
                                                                                                                                                            • IT Expert
                                                                                                                                                              • IT Reseller
                                                                                                                                                                • Linux User & Developer
                                                                                                                                                                  • Network Computing Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                    • PC Pro
                                                                                                                                                                      • SC Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                        • Scientific Computing World

                                                                                                                                                                        About the report

                                                                                                                                                                        This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                          What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                                                          Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Market

                                                                                                                                                                          Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                          New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                          Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                                                        • The Trends

                                                                                                                                                                          What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.