Software

Software penetrates all aspects of our life in the information age: individuals and businesses rely on operating systems and applications to carry out daily tasks. No wonder spending on enterprise software has the highest growth rate within the tech industry and is projected to grow further in 2021, offsetting the decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

One major trend in the industry is the move to the cloud, namely from on-premises software to software-as-a-service (SaaS), which represents around a third of the overall software market. As SaaS offers benefits such as lower total ownership costs and easier implementation over traditional models, this trend will only continue in 2021 and beyond.

Spending on enterprise software
491bn USD
Largest software company worldwide
Microsoft
Size of U.S. software publishing market
285bn USD

Market size

Rapid growth expected in the software industry after the pandemic
Information technology (IT) spending on enterprise software worldwide, from 2009 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Companies’ belt-tightening in the economic downturn has resulted in smaller budgets for software solutions, leading to the market contraction in 2020. However, the pandemic has also made organizations realize the urgency to go digital. As the motor of digital transformation, software will play an ever-greater role in the years to come beyond the resumed growth projected for 2021, which will see spending on enterprise software edging closer to the 500-billion-U.S. dollar landmark.

Global software industry: financial insight
Enterprise software
Software development

Market segments

Applications are the most common software products
Software industry market share in year to end June 2019, by product type
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Application software, computer programs usually designed for end-users to perform specific functions, occupies most of the software sphere. Infrastructure software assists with the operational issues and tasks of businesses and institutions, ensuring that applications can run smoothly. It is the second-largest type with almost 20 percent market share.

Productivity Software Report
System Infrastructure Software Report
Security software

Industry trends

SaaS takes the forefront
Public cloud application services/software as a service (SaaS) end-user spending worldwide from 2015 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

The subscription-based model and the accessibility demonstrated by SaaS, among other advantages over on-premises software, has made it one of the best performing tech subsectors during the pandemic. As digitalization deepens, businesses and activities will move to the cloud more and more, pushing SaaS evermore to the forefront. SaaS spending is projected to stay strong, reaching 138.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide
Big data

Market leaders

Microsoft leads in the software market
Revenue and total expenses of leading software companies worldwide in 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Best known for its Windows line of operating systems and the Office Suite, Microsoft has dominated the software sphere for years. The company has also caught up with the cloud migration and is now one of the major cloud service providers. IBM and Oracle are also the leading players, albeit with far less revenue than Microsoft. The German firm SAP is the only European company among the largest software companies and is primarily known for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Microsoft
Oracle
Market share of SaaS vendors worldwide

Industry Definition

The software industry consists of the development, distribution, and maintenance of software. It can be broadly divided into application software, system infrastructure software, software-as-a-service (SaaS), operating systems, database and analytics software. Statista provides information on software market spending in general and on various software products specifically, on both global and regional scales. Additionally, financial metrics and market share of major players are covered as well, together with data on software development and usage.

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