1. Overview of the software industry
The software industry is the most important and one of the most rapidly growing segment of the information and communication technology (ICT) industries. According to DataMonitor, the size of the worldwide software industry in 2008 was US$ 303.8 billion, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2007. The United States is estimated to have approximately 50% of the global software market 's value. U.S. software companies lead the world in development and production of softwares for business, homes, and schools. DataMonitor forecasts that in 2013, the global software market will have a value of US$ 457 billion, an increase of almost 50% since 2008.
Most software products fall into three categories: - Packaged (shrinkwrapped or off-the-shelf) products - Module products such as educational and general business management software - Core products such as industrial process-controlled software.
Packaged software could be purchased “off-the-shelf” and is typically mass produced, sold or licensed in standardized form in any format (electronic download, physical media such as disk or CD, or a webbased service). Packaged software is intended for general use common to the everyday operations of businesses and governments. Because it is a standardized product, packaged software has more in common with a product than a service.
In the development of the software industry, a shift from customized computer programming (or software products) to standardized programming is apparent. Some software was developed for a single client but evolved over time into standardized packages.
According to Software & Information Industry Association (2005), the packaged software market in the United States is estimated at nearly $70 billion with business software, home use products and education software accounting for $64 billion, $5.5 billion, and $600 million, respectively.