Gartner research predicts the enterprise social software market will hit $769 million in 2011. The market is growing 15 percent a year and should top $1 billion through 2012.
The worldwide market for enterprise social software will top $769
million in 2011, up 15.7 percent from the $664 million spent in
2010, according to Gartner.
The 2010 total is up 15 percent from 2009's worldwide spend of $578 million,
the researcher stated in a Dec. 16 report. At the current
compound annual growth rate, ESS sales
should reach the $1 billion mark by the end of 2012, barring any recession.
Gartner's broad definition of ESS
includes blogs, wikis, communities, forums, RSS feeds, bookmarks and other
tools that help knowledge workers communicate, collaborate and break through
the many information silos erected in large businesses.
These tools are often combined into applications for product reviews and
testing, brand marketing and community development, says Gartner analyst Tom
One practical solution would include a sales worker opening up a private
wiki to invite colleagues to discuss how to target new clients via chat
sessions. This might also include documents and other content sharing. Salesforce.com's Chatter
solution, for instance, would help
with these goals.
Another example: A new hire at an enterprise is looking to consult with a
legal expert specializing in, say, corporate law. The hire could hop onto the
intranet and let coworkers know what type of help he or she is looking for.
IBM's Lotus Connections
, the first of its kind to take root among
large enterprises, is well suited for such locating of expertise.
Eid said cloud or Web-based social software will continue to be key adoption
Of the more than 80 vendors that Gartner tracks for this marketplace, more
than 50 deliver ESS via
software-as-a-service implementations. Salesforce.com and IBM
are but two of the ESS providers Gartner
covers. Socialtext, Socialcast and Jive Software have added social analytics to
separate social signals from social media noise.
Good for cost-conscious companies, cloud-based and SaaS offerings "have
also opened up access to collaboration and social software technology to small
and midsize businesses that would not otherwise consider on-premises
deployments," Eid says.
Jive, perhaps the leader among independent ESS
providers, has added other tools to round out its portfolio. The company, which
received a fresh infusion of funding this year, Dec. 16 launched
its Jive Apps SDK to let developers build on top
the existing Jive Engage Platform.
Even Microsoft has come on strong in ESS
in 2010, lending more punch to the relatively nascent space. Gartner said
the software giant has made significant improvements to
its business social software capabilities in SharePoint 2010.