Netherlands - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-10


The Dutch software industry has demonstrated consistent growth over the last few years.  In 2018, the sector grew by five percent in volume and by four and a half percent in 2019. A slightly higher number is expected for 2020.  This growth has been spurred by the increased use of cloud computing, the digitization of business models, and an increase in teleworking in 2020.  The Dutch government has also made a significant push towards the digitization of public services in recent years.  

The government and financial sectors have traditionally been major end-users of software products.  The commercial market, with an increasing need to streamline business processes, has also become a significant user.  More recently, SMEs have begun to emerge as an attractive new market segment for ICT suppliers.  

Local software development concentrates on business applications and custom products.  Exports of Dutch software is limited.  Nevertheless, many Dutch software startups are poised to increase their software exports over the next few years, but fear the shortage of labor. In 2019, Startup Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Economic Board reported that there were 26 job vacancies for every available tech worker in the Netherlands.  A local recruitment agency reported that five out every six tech jobs in the Netherlands goes unfilled. The Dutch software market now depends primarily on imports from the United States and Europe, and the total market is divided into applications software (67 percent) and systems software (33 percent). The software market is dominated by the large global players, but the Dutch are very receptive to innovative, high-quality alternative solutions. 

Microsoft is the standard software in the business market, although use of Mac OS X is also significant, especially in the design sector.  Android and iOS have a combined market share of nearly 90 percent in the Netherlands, with Samsung and Apple being the most important players.

Leading Sub-Sectors

There are opportunities in the Netherlands in the following areas: teleworking software, teleconferencing software, mobile software, cloud based software, networking software and network security products, intrusion detection, prevention products, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, storage management software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning, application management, and content management products.  VR gaming software for the consumer market is also expected to offer good prospects in the coming years.

The demand for smartphone, television, and tablet applications continues to grow across the board in both public and private sectors as well as among private users.


The U.S. Mission to the European Union regularly reports major procurement opportunities in the ICT sector that are open to U.S. companies.


Market Analyses:         Artradius Market Monitor Report

Trade Events:              InfoSecurity Netherlands

November 2021| Jaarbeurs Utrecht, the Netherlands

Trade shows, seminars, and online matchmaking for IT professionals.


Association:                 Nederland ICT

Trade association for the Dutch IT and telecommunications industry.


SME Resources:          Posted on Information and Communications website.


Contact:              Philip Hammerstein, Commercial Specialist                     

U.S. Commercial Service – The Netherlands | +31 70 310 2416