Companies in this industry design and publish computer software. Major companies in the US include Activision Blizzard, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, NortonLifeLock, Oracle, and Salesforce; as well as Dassault Systèmes (France), Sage Group (UK), and SAP (Germany).
Global spending on IT, which includes enterprise software is about $4 trillion per year, according to Gartner. Many US-based software companies outsource some of their production work to other countries due to the high cost of domestic labor.
The US computer software industry includes about 13,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $280 billion.
The health of the global economy heavily influences spending for software products. The success of software companies depends on technical expertise and effective marketing. Small software companies compete mainly by targeting niche markets or developing new technology. Many small companies form alliances with larger ones to market their products. The US software industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 70% of revenue.
Access to Programmers - The ability to attract and retain talented programmers is crucial in the software industry, where developer shortages are a widespread challenge. Companies with adequate resources may recruit internationally, but immigration laws hinder that practice in some markets.
Global Reach - Because software spending is so closely tied to economic growth, the ability to sell into multiple countries and regions can provide critical protection against downturns in individual markets.
Operational Agility - The software sector is marked by rapid innovation and disruptive technologies, factors that favor companies with the ability to quickly bring products to market and adjust development strategies as markets shift.
Companies to Watch:
Google is best known for its search engine, but the company looms as a competitive threat in multiple software segments with its growing portfolio of largely hosted (and often free) consumer and business applications.
The largest software company in the world, Microsoft has long dominated both the consumer and enterprise software markets.
Salesforce.com embraced software-as-a-service from its outset, and the company continues to be a leading force in the cloud-based enterprise software market.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include published applications software, which accounts for more than 30%, and published system software, abut 30%. Other products include
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms