Software is a big deal: investment by business in software packages, custom software built on contract, and software developed in-house, amounted to $336B in 2015. An additional estimated $242B was spent in 2015 maintaining software that was previously developed under contract or previously developed in-house. These figures dwarf the private sector’s investment in IT equipment (computers, peripherals, communications equipment, semiconductors), which was a mere $108B during the same time frame. Indeed, the combined investment in software and information processing equipment represented more than 20% of private investment of all kinds by U.S. business in 2015.
Many organizations see in these figures an opportunity for competitive advantage: a better return on the software investment, or a reduction in ongoing maintenance costs, gravitates to the bottom line. Through the installation of standard processes that can be readily accepted and followed, industry leaders continue to make great strides in the area of software process improvement.