Enterprise social networking must be considered more seriously: Ovum

Enterprise social networking must be considered more seriously: Ovum

Currently moves from introduction to adopter face, and is seeing growth

It is time for organisations to more seriously consider enterprise social networking, particularly within collaboration strategies, as the market begins to mature and transition from the introductory to growth phase, according to analyst firm, Ovum.

According to the ‘Enterprise Social Networking’ report, growth in the market is being promoted by strategic acquisitions which have already been made by start-ups and established vendors alike.

“Ovum’s current assessment of the enterprise social networking market indicates that Jive and Yammer are the two vendors that organisations are most eager to compare and contrast, but other vendors are generating significant business and revenues from their offerings,” Ovum analyst and report author, Richard Edwards, said.

Edwards said Ovum sees the current value of the enterprise social networking market to have skipped over the $US500m mark.

As such, from a market perspective, it is definitely within the adopter phase. Ovum said that, at present, approximately 10 per cent of organisations in established IT markets are deploying solutions or subscribing to services.

Mobile devices are contributing to a greater spread of adoption due to their increased use to access networks.

“As the business case for investment in enterprise social networking solutions has yet to be proven to business sceptics, some vendors are encouraging independent user adoption in the hope it will prove business value,” Edwards said. “Ovum believes that the business potential offered by enterprise social networking will only be unlocked when necessity dictates a business change.”

The enterprise collaborations technology landscape, on the other hand, is awash with social software from a variety of different sources, according to Ovum. This has produce competition between vendors offering pure-play enterprise social networking solutions and enterprise collaboration providers.

At the same time, vendors offering business automation social platforms are trying to gain traction in a market that is also assessing the merits of emerging offerings from companies specialising in enterprise applications.

“Merger and acquisition activity has increased markedly in the past few months, and this has led to new entrants appearing on the enterprise collaboration landscape. So, with a market potential of at least $US10bn, the enterprise social networking market is the new battleground for all enterprise collaboration vendors,” Edwards added.

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