U.S. businesses slowed spending on software last year, forking out about 3 percent more on software in 2001 than in 2000, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department in March. By comparison, businesses spent nearly 15 percent more on software in 2000 than in 1999. The average growth rate of business investment in software since 1966 has been nearly 19 percent a year, said Patrick Walravens, an analyst at Jolson Merchant Partners.
Still, American businesses spent a total of $189 billion on software last year, more than they have ever spent on software before. And software has gone from comprising just 15 percent of total information technology spending by businesses in 1980 to 45 percent in 2001, according to Walravens, who analyzed historical data from the Commerce Department.