Business social software set to boom


Enterprise social software will see revenues of $664.4 million (427.2 million) in 2010, which will will rise to over $769 million in 2011, an analyst firm has predicted.

This year revenues looked set to boost 2009's revenue of $578.2 million by 14.9 per cent, Gartner said.

Technologies included under the social software umbrella included blogs, discussion forums and wikis.

"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, research vice president at Gartner.

"Social software excels in business contexts that leave room for individuals to interact informally, brainstorm, explore ideas, and encourage or challenge peers."

No doubt companies such as will be pleased to hear Gartner spouting good words about the cloud-based and sotware-as-a-service delivery models for such social software.

Earlier this month, chief executive (CEO) Marc Benioff was busy promoting his company's own cloud-based social offering Chatter. A freemium version of the software was unveiled at the Dreamforce event in San Francisco.

Gartner said companies should not just rely on the software but should be actively involved with the use of the technology.

"Success is to be found in managing the information and relationships in support of business initiatives and not the simple deployment of technology," Eid said.

"One of the major goals is to capitalise on community involvement to drive higher leverage and productivity."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.