National Software Industry Development: Considerations for Government Planners

Shirley Tessler, Avron Barr, Nagy Hanna


Software presents an unusual set of problems for policy makers. As a major global industry, it has been successfully targeted by a growing number of countries for its potential to generate export revenue. At the same time, it is an essential, high-risk, and increasingly expensive component of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-related programs to increase government effectiveness and to bring local firms in other industries up to globally competitive performance levels. This paper outlines the range of considerations specific to software within ICT planning and discusses government?s role in accelerating and shaping that growth in support of social and economic priorities. We draw on the experience of both developed and emerging economies to argue that government should take an active role in software industry development, and to lay out the full range of possible government actions (both policies and programs). Every country?s path seems to be different ? the best course of action will depend on the resources available (including infrastructure and human resources), on the state of the global software industry at that specific time, and on the country?s unique situation, such as languages spoken, regional or cultural ties with major markets, a tradition of entrepreneurship, or an expatriate business community.


software industry, software exports; global

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The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835