Frost & Sullivan's Enterprise Social Study Shows Market Growing Quickly
Paid and unpaid full-suite enterprise social platform subscribers reached 208 million in 2013, an increase of 29.5 percent year-over-year, or about 10% of the total addressable market.
My colleague Rob Arnold recently published Frost & Sullivan's annual market research study on full-suite enterprise social networking tools, which provide collaboration capabilities similar to those found in consumer social media services and are designed to enhance workplace productivity by leveraging the relationships among people and information.
The market data is clear: More and more employees are using ESN to help their organizations become more agile and responsive; categorize information and make it more accessible; manage tacit and explicit knowledge; facilitate collaboration within and across teams; increase their engagement; accelerate decision making; and improve business processes.
Consider this: there are currently about 2 billion workers worldwide who can benefit from enterprise social technologies across numerous industries, organizations, locations, and job roles. The total number of paid and unpaid full-suite enterprise social platform subscribers reached 208 million in 2013, an increase of 29.5% year-over-year, from 160.8 million users in 2012, or about 10% of the total addressable market.
Those are impressive numbers for a still-nascent market that requires significant shifts in business culture and routine employee behaviors--not to mention one that does not always make a clear case for hard-dollar return-on-investment. But user adoption is influenced in part by the "bring your own technology" (BYOT) movement, in which employees expect to have workplace capabilities similar to what they have at home--a trend that as many as 80% of businesses tell us they support.
In his report, Rob details market share numbers, drivers and restraints, distribution channels, pricing structures, vendor evaluations, demand analysis, the market forecast through 2018, and recommendations for vendor and customer success. He also discusses the five key pillars from a CEO perspective:
* Successful enterprise social networking deployments require shifts in business culture and employee behavior.
* Market share is highly concentrated among the top five providers, however others are forcing the competitive envelope to expand.
* Addressable users extend far beyond white-collar roles in carpeted offices; workers in any industry and organization can benefit.
* Supplier competition will intensify as value propositions are proven, which will help to encourage adoption.
* Today, adoption is strongest in North America, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean-Latin America region.
For more information on this research, please contact me (Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org).