The software market is enjoying its best growth since the 2008 economic slowdown, but it will probably slow substantially in the next couple of years.

This is one of the findings from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Software Market Forecaster. The research monitors over 1000 software vendors (global and local) across a total of 49 countries globally. Information provided include annual market size, vendor share, and forecast data for the seventy-eight functional markets that comprise the software market.

“2011 delivered nearly double-digit growth in the worldwide software market, the highest annual growth rate in the years since the 2008 financial crisis,” says Patrick Melgarejo, director: worldwide software trackers. “However, IDC expects the overall software market to return to more conservative growth in the years to come. The major driver behind this decelerating growth is the forecast for close to flat performance in EMEA, due to the economic difficulties in that region.”

A total of 35 vendors achieved revenues of more than $1-billion in 2011, representing a combined market share of 62%. The remaining market is shared among 1129 vendors and others. Vendors that made it on to the $1-billion revenue list for the first time are Attachmate and Cadence Design Systems. Of the vendors that achieved more than $1-billion in software revenue, only three achieved a high double-digit growth rate (over 20%) – VMware,, and Cadence Design Systems.

Microsoft remained the number one software vendor globally, holding 17,8% market share based on revenues, more than twice the market share of its closest competitor. IBM continued its streak of steady positive growth in 2011 and holds the number two position. Oracle and SAP were next in line with both vendors achieving double-digit growth rates and growing faster than the software market average.

Chart: Worldwide Software Market, Five Year YoY Growth in Revenues (%)Description: Worldwide Software Market Forecaster IDC’s Worldwide Software Market Forecaster covers both historical (3 years annual) and forecast (5 years annual) data for IDC’s entire SW taxonomy. Packaged software vendor revenue is presented for 79 markets and three geographic regions (Americas, EMEA, Asia/Pacific). Data on over 650 private and over 350 public companies is presented. Historical annual data is provided once a year and forecasts are updated twice a year. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or Further detail about this product can be found at: IDC, tracker, software, vendor, revenue, IBM, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, CA, EMC, data, shares, forecast, forecaster, 2011, 2012Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

The fastest growing software markets, according to the 2011 results, are enterprise social software, virtual machine software, and team collaborative applications, which are closely related and support important cross-industry technology trends such as social applications, virtualization, and collaboration, respectively.

Within the application development and deployment primary market, the relational database management systems (RDBMS) market, which is a very large and established market, delivered the second highest growth rate in 2011, an atypical result for such a mature market.

From a geographical perspective, Asia/Pacific and Japan (APJ) experienced the highest growth rate as it has over the past three years, moving from 15% in 2008 to 16,5% of market share in 2011. However, the APJ region is forecast to be more in sync with the other regions in 2012. On the other hand, the Americas, supported by expected gains in Latin America, is forecast to maintain its stable market share of almost 53% over the next several years.