Information Economy Report 2012

The Software Industry and Developing Countries

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The IER 2012 highlights the growing importance of the software industry for developing countries, building on earlier UNCTAD work on the promotion of the ICT sector in general and the software industry in particular. The report contains new data and features the new UNCTAD National Software System Index. It highlights the role of free and open source software for the development of a local software industry, reviews selected country case studies and presents policy options.



Software trends

The global software landscape is rapidly evolving, reflecting increased internationalization and technological change. Developing countries display strikingly different software growth paths, with some being predominantly export oriented while others are producing software mainly to meet domestic needs. Meanwhile, new demand for mobile applications at both national and international levels is generating opportunities for production, innovation and learning. In addition, improved broadband connectivity and the introduction of on-line platforms for micro-work are expanding the scope for developing countries to engage in international software projects. Chapter II examines various ways of measuring the software industry and reviews potential indicators regarding its status and performance in different countries. It concludes by discussing recent demand-side trends that are having an impact on the software landscape.


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