Believe It - Enterprise Social Networking Adoption is Happening

Feb 11, 2014

We recently published our Global Enterprise Social Networking Market analysis and forecast report. Our study focuses on full suite solutions - those that can be implemented across and organization, and offer a variety of features that are useful for workers in many different job roles.
Our scope omitted platforms and tools with limited feature sets and those will only specific departmental or vertical applicability.
Our team does believe in the value of enterprise social, and we believe it cannot be successful if its deployed in a vacuum. It must be integrated with existing workflows and processes.
We also believe that enterprise social capabilities can be helpful to many workers outside of carpeted offices - in retail, education, hospitality and healthcare, for example. Whether white collar or blue collar, it can be leveraged as a way for untethered workers to consume information from a centralized resource and contribute information back to the organization in more dynamic ways than printed memos, all-company emails, and voice mail allow.
When the numbers came in we were pleasantly surprised by this market sector's health in terms of adoption and certain beliefs (such as those above) were validated.
Highlights of our findings:

  • 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.
  • There are currently about 2 billion workers worldwide who can benefit from enterprise social technologies across numerous industries, organizations, locations, and job roles. Penetration is about 10%.
  • Together the top five vendors held about 90% of market share in terms of users in 2013.
  • The top 5 providers in 2013 were heavily weighted toward those that layer social on top of and integrate it with their broader ICT portfolios. 
  • Providers outside of the top 5 collectively owned the lion's share of unpaid subscribers in 2013.

Our forecast calls for strong, steady growth over the next 5 years.

We expect workers to become more comfortable with social business tools, and we expect the tools become more useful as technology and processes mature to interlock more efficiently and effectively. We also expect more of the world's large, influential enterprise sotware providers to get more fully involved in the social business market by integrating social collaboration both more deeply and broadly into their wider portfolios.

As for our results and assumptions, Baby Boomers may think we are over shooting, while Digital Natives probably think we're under estimating.

What do you think?

Category : Enterprise

Robert Arnold


Sixteen + years of experience in enterprise communications markets. Particular expertise in: Competitive and market intelligence, Market trend analysis and forecasting, Solutions development, marketing, sales and service support strategies.

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