Global Enterprise Social Software Sales Could Reach $664 million in 2010, Researcher Says

Revenue from segment expected to jump nearly 15 percent from last year and grow similarly next year.

December 24, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Global sales of enterprise social software could top off at nearly $665 million for 2010, a 15 percent jump from last year’s $578 million, amid expectations of a similar leap next year, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

Gartner said that the maturation of the market should drive 2011 enterprise social software revenue to about $770 billion, or nearly a 16 percent uptick from 2010’s expected total.

Market demand for business settings in which users can connect with one another through social software is driving the segment, according to Gartner analysts. Technologies based on social software include blogs, communities, discussion forums, expertise location, feeds and syndication, social bookmarks, wikis, and integrated platforms/suites.

“The social software market is evolving in response to the demand for flexible environments in which participants can connect, create, share, and find people and information relevant to their work," said Tom Eid, Gartner research vice president.

"Social software improves the connectedness of workers, promotes collaboration and helps capture informal knowledge,” Eid said. “Social software excels in business contexts that leave room for individuals to interact informally, brainstorm, explore ideas, and encourage or challenge peers,” he said.

Social software is important to business because it promotes client contact, improves products and services, operational effectiveness and drives innovation, Eid said.

"Success is to be found in managing the information and relationships in support of business initiatives and not the simple deployment of technology," he said. "One of the major goals is to capitalize on community involvement to drive higher leverage and productivity."

Gartner said that more than 60 percent of the 80 enterprise social software vendors it tracks offer the technology through cloud-based and Software-as-a-Service delivery models. The researcher said that this is an important factor because buyers of social software in this manner tend to be business executives with budgets for marketing, research and development or human resources, all areas touched by the technology.

In addition, the lower prices and easy entry associated with cloud-based and SaaS offerings have opened up collaboration and social software to small- and medium-sized businesses unable to afford on-premise installations, Gartner said.

TAGS: software,Enterprise,Gartner,social

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