Software market growth is being powered by affordability and broadband penetration

Lower prices have opened access to business software to a wider variety of organizational types, leading to higher sales.

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Growth in software sales through 2022 will be driven primarily by lower costs and increased broadband access, according to a report published today by Research and Markets. While the software market has traditionally focused on the largest customers, the report cited rising awareness and interest of options across different organizational types, including "businesses, schools, interest-based user groups, clubs, charities, or governments." Expected annual growth in the software market is estimated at 5.47% from 2016-2022, according to the report.

One drawback of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model are the limitations potential users with limited internet connectivity may face. For companies which operate in geographically remote locations where no internet infrastructure exists (mining and oil/gas drilling operations, in particular, share this attribute), as well as small and local businesses operating in rural markets, and companies in developing economies with inconsistent access to the internet, SaaS is often unusable, as any internet outage can bring business operations to a standstill. With increased access of broadband internet, either via traditional wireline installations, or through fixed-point wireless, 4G LTE, or future technologies such as 5G and Project Loon, practical usability of SaaS products increases.

SEE: SaaS Research 2017: Adoption rates, business benefits, and preferred providers (Tech Pro Research)

Likewise, one roadblock cited in the report is the reliance on obsolete user interfaces in software today. While organizations are moving to mobile-first or mobile-exclusive computing, relying on either phones or tablets to conduct business operations, many programs are not designed to leverage the multi-touch capabilities common to iPad or Surface tablets. Legacy applications, in particular, are often built around a 1980s-vintage terminal interface, requiring specific key presses to navigate various menus in the program. This design methodology must be avoided for modern software.

The report notes that "analytics software market holds the major share of the total market, followed by performance management software, business process management software and audit software."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • One roadblock cited in the report is the reliance on obsolete user interfaces in software. Many programs are not designed to leverage the multi-touch capabilities common to mobile devices.
  • The report cites rising awareness and interest of options across different organizational types, including "businesses, schools, interest-based user groups, clubs, charities, or governments."

Also see

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By James Sanders

James Sanders is a staff writer for TechRepublic. He covers future technology, including quantum computing, AI, and 5G, as well as cloud, security, open source, mobility, and the impact of globalization on the industry, with a focus on Asia.