This EU supported study summarises the importance of European software and the software-based services (SSBS) industry and their contribution to growth and high value employment in Europe. The report also identifies and describes the key drivers for the industry’s growth and competitiveness. Particular attention is given to the extent and role of in-house software development. Furthermore it includes a number of suggestions for future policies.

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Software can significantly increase Europe's industrial competitiveness and largely contribute to Europe's growth.  The overall software and software-based services (SSBS) market in the EU28 region was worth EUR 229 billion in 2009 and by 2020 it will amount to nearly EUR 290 billion. Software offers new opportunities but brings also a lot of challenges that software companies and the European industry at large, must meet. Software sector employment in the EU grew by 16.1% between 2008 and 2013, as opposed to a decline in employment in the total business economy of about 3.4% and high productivity (measured in value added per employee) characterizes the SSBS companies. According to the study, the average yearly growth of the SSBS industry in Europe is expected to be 2.9% between 2015 and 2020.

The report presents the current and expected future growth and structure of the European software and IT services market. Findings of the study show that several technological trends, from mobility and data analytics to digital transformation and social collaboration, along with emerging software development practices such as DevOps and Open Source Software will radically change the way we produce and use software. Almost any industry sector will be influenced by this shift.

The study is a follow-up of an older study entitled "Economic and Social Impact of Software & Software-Based Services". A revision and update of the findings of the previous study from 2009 revealed to be necessary due to the global financial crisis and new technological and market trends  which led to a big "innovation wave" and had a strong impact on the European software industry.

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