Not long ago I wrote a news item about a trend I have seen developing around increased use of software as a critical component of automation systems design and application strategy. The key aspects focused on in that article included the move to connect PLM data with MES and HMI systems as well as the incorporation of plant control operations in the testing and development of real-time embedded systems in automation devices. You can access the full article here.
Backing up my assertions of this growing trend at the crossroads of software and automation is a recent report from Cambashi (a market research, industry analysis and consulting firm based in Cambridge, UK and Boston, MA). In the report, Cambashi notes that technical software spending is rebounding in 2011, particularly in the aerospace and defense, process and utility industries. The software application areas Cambashi sees picking up the most speed across these industries are AEC (architecture, engineering & construction), geospatial (GIS) and manufacturing (CAD/CAM/CAE and PDM/PLM).
The regional outlier in this report is the Americas, where the leading industry purchaser for technical software is the automotive industry. Industries in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions that are expected to spend the most on software are, in order of predicted spending: pharmaceutical, process and utilities. Aerospace and defense is the one industry that performed well across all geographies.