Social software and collaboration market expected to grow 17% to $4.5 billion in 2021: Gartner

Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2021

The worldwide social software and collaboration market is expected to grow by 17.1 per cent from 2020 to reach a total of $4.5 billion in 2021, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

The growth is driven by the need to facilitate interactions to support remote work amid the Covid-19 pandemic along with social software integrations within other enterprise applications, as per the report.

“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,” added Roth.

The pandemic has led to significant changes in the workforce structure, some of which are likely to be permanent even as the workforce returns to the office.

This will require additional investment to “facilitate, capture and organise open conversations and information sharing,” as per the report.

This is likely to further push the social software and collaboration market upward, with double-digit growth of 14 per cent projected through 2022 to reach $5.1 billion.

Integration of such software with enterprise applications and platforms is another key trend driving market growth. Gartner predicts that by 2025, nearly 65 per cent of enterprise application software providers will have included some form of social software and collaboration functionality in their software product portfolios, it said.

“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.

Published on March 24, 2021

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