The global enterprise social software industry grew substantially in 2010 and is expected to grow even more in 2011, according to a report from analyst firm Gartner.
Revenue for enterprise social software was up 14.9 percent this year to $664.4 million. Next year promises to be even better, with an increase of 15.7 percent to $769.2 million.
The sector accounts for blogs, communities, discussion forums, expertise locations, feeds and syndications, social bookmarks, wikis, and integrated platforms and suites, all used within the context of business.
Many businesses are employing this technology to promote staff interaction, brainstorming and collaboration, which can benefit the individual employees and the company as a whole.
Enterprise social software is predominantly provided via software as a service (SaaS) and the cloud, with over 50 of the 80 software vendors that Gartner tracks using either of these two mediums. With the cloud market expected to grow even more in 2011, this figure is likely to jump further.
A major factor in the adoption of this software through the cloud is the limited budgets that many companies currently have due to the economic downturn. Since the cloud allows fast and cheap scaling of technology to suit the size and growth of a business, it is a much more affordable option than traditional software installation or datacentre employment.