The global software industry is characterized by rapid innovation and growth. While other more mature industries often struggle to expand their sources of revenue, it’s common to see double-digit growth rates in different segments of the global software industry.
In recent years, several prominent technology trends have emerged, shaping the landscape of software development, deployment, and utilization. From artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing to low-code development and cybersecurity, these trends are poised to revolutionize the software industry, according to recent data from a variety of market research firms.
1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have moved beyond being mere buzzwords to become integral components of software applications across various sectors. AI-powered algorithms are being employed for predictive analytics, personalization, automation, and enhancing user experiences and decision-making processes.
Generative artificial intelligence “marks an inflection point in AI adoption, with the potential to transform business models, company functions, and job roles,” according to the report Generative Artificial Intelligence Emerges as a Globally Disruptive Technology by Frost & Sullivan. “The technology’s significance and disruptive potential create new growth opportunities across the information and communication technologies (ICT) ecosystem.”
Widespread access to AI will reduce enterprise workloads and help kick-start machine learning projects. However, generative AI does create core legal and ethical concerns that must be factored into any business strategies.
2. Edge Computing
As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, the demand for real-time processing and reduced latency has led to the rise of edge computing. Because edge computing processes data closer to the source, it reduces the need for centralized cloud infrastructure.
Opportunities for edge computing abound in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, energy and utility, government and defense, media and entertainment, telecommunications, transportation and logistics, retail and consumer goods, and healthcare. In a recent report, Lucintel predicts that the global edge computing market will reach $74.8 billion in 2028 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4% from 2023 to 2028.
“The major drivers for this market are a rising number of use cases requiring low-latency processing, increasing adoption of AI, smart devices and industrial IoT, and growing demand for deployment of a 5G network,” Lucintel states.
3. Low-Code Development
Low-code development platforms have democratized software development by enabling individuals with limited coding experience to create applications. These platforms provide visual interfaces and pre-built modules that simplify the development process.
The low-code application platform (LCAP) market has experienced remarkable growth over the past couple of years, and new entrants continue to enter the playing field. According to Frost & Sullivan’s analysis, the revenue generated by the LCAP market was estimated to be around $25 billion in the latter part of 2022. This figure is projected to surge significantly, reaching an impressive $70 billion by the year 2026.
4. Cybersecurity and Privacy
With the proliferation of data breaches and privacy concerns, cybersecurity has become a top concern for the software industry. Software developers are now integrating security features from the ground up. End-to-end encryption in messaging apps, exemplified by WhatsApp, ensures that only the intended recipients can access the communication, providing a high level of privacy and security.
The global cybersecurity market is already huge—worth an estimate $150.37 billion in 2021—and is forecast to hit $317.02 billion by 2027, growing at a rapid CAGR of 13.37% during this time frame, according to Cybersecurity Market – Growth Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2023-2028) by Mordor Intelligence.
Leading cybersecurity companies include AVG Technologies, Cisco Systems Inc., and IBM Corporation. “New fields, such as Big Data and IoT, are reshaping security trends, and the firm concentration ratio is expected to record higher growth during the forecast period,” explains Mordor Intelligence.
5. Quantum Computing
While still in its nascent stages, quantum computing holds immense potential for solving complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of classical computers. While it is known for its classical information technology, Microsoft is currently working to brand itself as a leader in quantum computing, according to IDC, but the topological qubit which will serve as a foundation for Microsoft’s quantum computing system, is still under development.
In 2022, the global quantum computing market was worth an estimated $155.6 million, per estimates by Global Industry Analysts, and is projected to reach $1 billion by 2030, growing at a rapid pace of 26.3% over this period.
6. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR technologies are finding their way into various industries, from gaming to education to real estate. Applications like Pokémon GO utilize AR to blend virtual and real-world environments, while VR headsets like Oculus Rift provide immersive gaming experiences. These examples suggest the potential for broader business applications in the future.
Growth predictions for AR and VR remain high. The Business Research Company estimates the global augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow from $25 billion in 2021 to reach $129 billion in 2031, increasing at a CAGR of 17.92%.
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About the author: Sarah Schmidt is a Managing Editor at MarketResearch.com, a leading provider of global market intelligence products and services.