The worldwide market for software totaled $342 billion in 2012, a 3.6 percent gain over 2011. However, that rate of growth is less than half of what the industry managed to rack up in 2010 and 2011, reports IDC.
Henry D. Morris, IDC senior vice president for Worldwide Software, Services and Executive Advisory Research, explained in a statement that despite tepid growth, certain software segments are shaking up the industry in major ways.
"The global software market, comprised of a multi-layered collection of technologies and solutions, is growing more slowly in this period of economic uncertainty. Yet there is strong growth in selective areas," explained Morris.
"The management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with Big Data and analytics. Similarly, rapid growth in cloud deployments is fueling growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience. Both these initiatives require a reliable and secure infrastructure, driving investments in security and system/network management," he said.
Where the Growth Was
According to IDC, the following segments are outpacing the overall enterprise software market in general by growing at rates in the 6 to 7 percent range: data access, analysis and delivery, collaborative applications, customer relationship management (CRM), security, and system and network management.
CRM and social enterprise solutions are heating up the applications primary market segment, which generated 49 percent of total software revenue last year. IDC classifies applications, along with application development and deployment (AD&D) and systems infrastructure software, as primary market segments.
Driven, in part, by the shift to cloud-based services, CRM grew by nearly 7 percent in 2012. Collaborative apps, "driven by the enterprise social software market, which grew at 24.8 percent year over year and gained more than 5 points of market share over three years," also grew at approximately the same rate, said IDC.
The AD&D segment grew the fastest, with a 4.6 percent year-over-year growth rate. Within that group, data access, analysis and delivery and structured data management grew at 6 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The reason: Big Data.
"Business intelligence and relational database management systems (RDBMS) solutions are pushing the growing trend for these markets because of widening Big Data and analytics adoption," said IDC. AD&D leaders include Oracle, with 21.6 percent of the market, followed by IBM, Microsoft, SAP and SAS.
In total, however, Microsoft rules the roost.
Redmond commanded the worldwide software market in 2012 with $58.4 billion in revenues and 17.1 percent of the market. IBM came in second with $29.1 billion and 8.5 percent of the market. Oracle, SAP and Symantec rounded out the top five.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.