Europe’s enterprise software market shrank 2.3% in 2012, IDC finds

The Western European enterprise software market shrank by 2.3% to around $900 billion in 2012, according to the latest figures from IDC. 

It was the only region in which the enterprise software market shrank during the year. The US software market grew by 5.9% to around $1.6 trillion, while Asia Pacific grew 8% to around $30 billion.

The overall growth of the market was 3.6%, up to $342 billion, for the year. This was less than half the growth rate seen in 2010 or 2011. 

"The global software market, comprised of a multi-layered collection of technologies and solutions, is growing more slowly in this period of economic uncertainty," said IDC senior vice president Henry Morris. "Yet there is strong growth in selective areas."

The fastest-growing segment of the enterprise software industry during 2012 was what IDC calls "application development and deployment", which grew 24% to around $80 billion. 

"Growth in the AD&D segment was largely driven by the performance of the data access, analysis, and delivery and the structured data management secondary markets with 6.0% and 5.9% growth rates, respectively," IDC said.

"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."

The applications segment, which represents just under half of the enterprise software market, grew by 3.3%. The standout performance within that was "enterprise social software", which grew 25% year-on-year. 

Microsoft was once again the world's largest enterprise software vendor, but its market share shrank slightly from 17.4% in 2011 to 17.1% in 2012. 

In fact, all the top five enterprise software vendors (IBM, Oracle, SAP and Symantec, in that order) saw their market share shrink during the year, suggesting growing diversity in the enterprise software supplier base. 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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