Data Analytics Remains Bright Spot in Slowing Software Market

Data analytics and “social” software helped drive enterprise software growth in 2012, according to new data from research firm IDC. That’s despite a significant slowdown in the broader software market.

The global software market grew 3.6 percent in 2012, reaching $342 billion. While that’s a sizable gross, it’s also less than half the market’s growth rate in 2010 and 2011. However, certain software types are bucking that downward trend: data analytics and delivery, collaborative applications, security software, CRM applications, and system and network management software all enjoyed growth in the range of 6-7 percent in 2012.

“The global software market, comprised of a multi-layered collection of technologies and solutions, is growing more slowly in this period of economic uncertainty,” Henry D. Morris, IDC’s senior vice president for Worldwide Software, Services and Executive Advisory Research, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Yet there is strong growth in selective areas. The management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with Big Data and analytics.”

Morris added: “Rapid growth in cloud deployments is fueling growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience.” Because such initiatives require secure (and reliable) infrastructure, companies will pour more money and resources into security and network-management tools.

Microsoft topped IDC’s list of the top worldwide software vendors in 2012, with $58 billion in revenue, followed by IBM with $29 billion, Oracle with $27 billion, SAP with $16 billion, Symantec with $6 billion. “Other” software companies brought in $203 billion in software-related revenue.

All of these companies have spent the past several quarters developing data-analytics and storage software, intent on capturing a burgeoning market. The rising hunger for data access, analytics, and delivery software—which grew 6.0 percent last year, just ahead of structured data-management software at 5.9 percent—has also sparked an accompanying interest in social business software; the two go together like peanut butter and chocolate, allowing businesses to put their data-analytics results in some sort of broader context (as well as find in-company experts who can actually use the data, in the case of several social-business platforms). “The combination of contextual data and the ‘right’ expertise is becoming critical for supporting enterprise decision making and data driven customer experience solutions,” IDC wrote in its explanation.

 

Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

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