For 2014, the worldwide software market is forecast to grow 5.9% year over year, driven largely by Big Data and analytics and enterprise applications.
According to analyst firm IDC, the growth rate has been revised to 5.7%, down from the 6.2% year-over-year growth forecast in November 2013.
IDC believes that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2013-2018 forecast period will remain close to 6%.
Structured Data Management Software, Collaborative Applications and Data Access, Analysis and Delivery solutions are expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period with a CAGR near 9% from 2013-2018.
"Leveraging the social dimension of the Internet keeps fueling the Collaboration growth, much of which is in the form of software as a service," says Henry Morris, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Software, Services and Executive Advisory Research, IDC.
"This is complementary to the increased attention to Big Data and analytics solutions, which help enterprises understand and act on anticipated customer behavior and new insights into product reliability and maintenance."
In the Enterprise Applications category, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Management, Supply Chain Management, and Operations and Manufacturing Applications will continue to show CAGR rates around 6%.
"Enterprises are starting to implement applications that either didn't exist or weren't needed in the past, such as commerce applications in all industries, not just retail, but also manufacturing, hospitality, food and beverage, and even the public sector," adds Christine Dover, Research Director, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce, IDC.
"IDC is also seeing applications in categories that didn't exist in the past (e.g., subscription billing, spend optimization, and revenue management) for requirements that may have been met using custom applications or manual processes."
On a regional basis, the emerging economies will continue to experience stronger growth than the mature economies.
The average 2013-2018 CAGR for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Central Eastern, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) is 8.5% while the average CAGR for the mature regions – North America, Western Europe, and Japan – is 5.9%.