The global software industry will not see solid, industry-wide growth until the latter part of 2003, financial experts warned yesterday.
According to research published in Standard & Poor's bi-annual Industry Survey on Computers, economic uncertainty, weak demand and low corporate IT investment are continuing to hold back the industry.
"Demand for personal computers remains weak among consumers, and information technology spending at the corporate level continues to be constrained," said Jonathan Rudy, computer software equity analyst and author of the survey.
"As a result, Standard & Poor's does not anticipate a return to solid growth in the software industry as a whole until late in 2003.
"Aided by the anticipated improvement in the economy, however, the software market may briefly return to low double-digit growth at year-end, reaching $200bn (£127bn) in sales, but this pace will not likely be sustainable."
Rudy added that the software business is increasingly diversifying into the enterprise market.
"While corporate software spending will depend on overall capital budgets and information technology allocation decisions, Standard & Poor's believes that key areas of software, such as storage and internet security, will likely take share from other areas of the IT budget, even if overall IT spending doesn't recover strongly," he said.
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