Illuminating a Blind Spot in Digitalization – Software Development in Sweden's Private and Public Sector

by   Markus Borg, et al.

As Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen famously remarked in 2011, software is eating the world - becoming a pervasive invisible critical infrastructure. Data on the distribution of software use and development in society is scarce, but we compile results from two novel surveys to provide a fuller picture of the role software plays in the public and private sectors in Sweden, respectively. Three out of ten Swedish firms, across industry sectors, develop software in-house. The corresponding figure for Sweden's government agencies is four out of ten, i.e., the public sector should not be underestimated. The digitalization of society will continue, thus the demand for software developers will further increase. Many private firms report that the limited supply of software developers in Sweden is directly affecting their expansion plans. Based on our findings, we outline directions that need additional research to allow evidence-informed policy-making. We argue that such work should ideally be conducted by academic researchers and national statistics agencies in collaboration.


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