Over 25 per cent of software companies have merged, been acquired or divested in the past three years and analysts expect the pace to double over the next three years.
Gartner analyst Joanne Correia explained that, in many cases, strong brand names will survive under a new owner where the equity justifies it.
"The demise of software vendors will also become more commonplace as the assets left by some failing companies don't attract a new owner, however cheap they are to acquire," she said, adding that vendors should be actively seeking merger, acquisition and divestiture opportunities while they still have substantial residual or purchasing value.
According to Gartner, the worldwide software licence market will be flat in 2001, show four per cent growth in 2002 and recover to eight per cent growth in 2003.
Meanwhile, the worldwide application software licence market is projected to decline one per cent in 2002, and grow eight per cent in 2003.
The worldwide infrastructure software licence industry is forecast to drop three per cent in 2001, but recover with six per cent growth in 2002 and eight per cent in 2003.
The analyst said that worldwide security software revenue grew by 25 per cent in 2000, and will have grown by 12 per cent in 2001. It predicts 18 per cent growth in 2002 and 16 per cent growth in 2003.
"Companies that are tightening their budgets and re-prioritising technology products will move security initiatives from the IT wish list to the list of IT must-haves," according to Gartner.
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