The rapid increase in cloud deployments is creating growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience. At the same time, the management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with big data and analytics. Both of these initiatives require a reliable and secure infrastructure, driving investments in security and system/network management, according to a new report by International Data Corp. (IDC).

Big data and analytics are closely tied to the fast growth of social business software markets, where the combination of contextual data and the "right" expertise is becoming critical for supporting enterprise decision-making and data-driven customer experience solutions, IDC says in its Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker.

The report provides total market size and vendor share for 82 segments of the global software market. The Tracker covers more than 800 software vendors across 49 countries markets. Historical market size, vendor share and forecasts are updated on a semiannual basis.

In the applications primary market segment, which comprised 49 percent of total software revenue, year-over-year growth for 2012 was 3.3 percent, which is slightly lower than for software overall. Within this market segment, IDC says, customer relationship management and collaborative applications stood out with year-over-year growth rates near 7 percent.

While the former category is driven by the cloud migration trend and large investments by businesses to deliver a better customer experience to the "social customer," the latter is largely driven by the enterprise social software market, which grew at 24.8 percent year over year and gained more than five points of market share over three years, IDC says.

"The global software market, comprised of a multilayered collection of technologies and solutions, is growing more slowly in this period of economic uncertainty,” Henry Morris, senior vice president for Worldwide Software, Services and executive advisory research at IDC, said in a statement. “Yet there is strong growth in selective areas. The management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with big data and analytics. Similarly, rapid growth in cloud deployments is fueling growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience.”

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