The software sector will keep expanding and increasing its proportion of the global IT market in 2023, but there are still obstacles to overcome. Growth is no longer sufficient on its own since changes in investment capital are placing a greater emphasis on controlling earnings and operating expenses. Geopolitics will also have an impact on changes, such as the availability of more local hosting possibilities. And in the upcoming year, growing trends in automation, industry clouds, and sustainability will command attention.

In our latest analysis, Forrester explored the nine key software trends for 2023 and what they signify for technology executives. A sample of three of them is shown below:

The shift to SaaS (software as a service) continues. The pressure to move to SaaS is perhaps best felt by the increase of on-premises maintenance fees. While frustrating, these price hikes are unavoidable. Technology executives should reevaluate staying on-premises or look into alternative third-party maintenance options.

Changes in investment capital put pressure on profits. Rather than sheer growth, the emphasis is now on profits, customer retention, and efficiency. Streamlining efforts such as layoffs and refocusing products to core business lines are signals of this shift. What it means is that SaaS vendors will continue to find ways to minimize costs, such as reducing some of their high-cost marketing, increasing automation, and decreasing the prevalence of special deals for first-time buyers.

Emphasis on sustainability will increase. Transparency around sustainability is becoming an expectation of both customers and employees. Firms will focus on their own sustainability initiatives as well as software to help their customers do the same. Choosing a vendor that aligns with their corporate sustainability goals should be part of customers’ selection criteria.