A newly released report has found specialist ISVs took almost $1 billion of the $2.7 billion software industry pie during 2004-05.
Issued by the Federal Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, the Centre for Innovative Industry Economic Research report is allegedly the first statistical analysis of specialist software firms.
According to the results, local specialist ISVs earned $934 million during the period. Of this figure, $831 million was earned by home-grown businesses.
Senator Coonan said the government was currently setting priorities for software industry development. The findings of the report would feed into discussions about focusing Australia's efforts in areas of competitive advantage.
Sectors identified included relatively low costs for software development; strong Unix and open source skills; a multicultural workforce and language skills; a competitive and discerning domestic market; and higher quality finished software products than world standards.
"From this report it can be seen that Australia is already internationally competitive in a number of sectors. For example, Australia provides 60 per cent of the world's mining software," Senator Coonan said.
Senator Coonan said the report pointed to several growth areas for local software writers.
"The minerals and health software markets seem to offer the most promising opportunities and they already have major Australian suppliers with well-established international markets," she said. "Segments of the energy, government, ICT, manufacturing and education market verticals also show considerable potential."