The changes, brought about to support remote work during COVID-19 as well as integration of social software as an embedded capability in other applications and platforms are driving the market for social and collaboration software around the world.
The analyst firm Gartner has announced that worldwide social software and collaboration market is forecast to total $4.5 billion in 2021, an increase of 17.1% from 2020. Moreover, the trend will continue in 2022, with a 14% growth in this market.
“Many of the existing use cases propelling the social and collaboration market, such as coordinating a distributed workforce and providing a ‘virtual water cooler,’ got a sudden jolt from the pandemic,” said Craig Roth, research vice president at Gartner. “Social and collaboration tools went from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ within a matter of weeks.”
The consulting firm believes that although in some companies workers have begun to return to offices, the changes in workforce structure caused by pandemic are permanent and additional investment in technologies to facilitate, capture and organize open conversations and information sharing.
Social software finds its place in corporate applications
Another key trend driving market growth is the integration of social software as an embedded capability in other applications and platforms. Gartner predicts that by 2025, nearly 65% of enterprise application software providers will have included some form of social software and collaboration functionality in their software product portfolios.
“Providers of packaged business applications, such as ERP and CRM software, have previously offered basic social and collaboration functionality. However, they are now facing heightened expectations about the seamless inclusion of nonroutine tasks, such as conversations and marking up content, within their process-oriented products.
“Partnerships between software providers will take on more importance, as a close relationship is required for tight integration of disparate application functions,” said Roth.