The global enterprise social software market will grow to $769.2 million in 2011, up 15.7% from this year, according to the latest forecast from industry research firm Gartner Inc.

Currently, enterprise social software revenue is on pace to total $664.4 million in 2010, up 14.9% increase from 2009 $578.2 million.

Social software technologies such as blogs, discussion forums, feeds, social bookmarks, wikis and integrated platforms enable participation to reflect the collective attitudes, dispositions and knowledge of the participants. This information can be used to create business value through creating customer intimacy, operational effectiveness and innovation, according to Gartner’s research.

Cloud-based and software-as-a-service delivery continue to be key adoption factors. Of the more than 80 vendors that Gartner tracks for this marketplace, more than 50 provide social software through cloud-based and SaaS delivery, the research stated.

Gartner’s findings show that some deployments are more focused on internal users, with an emphasis on integration with existing infrastructure, business applications and targeted internal communities, while others focus on external customer communities for consumer engagement and management of user-generated content.

"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 VP at Gartner in a statement. "Social software improves the connectedness of workers, promotes collaboration and helps capture informal knowledge.”

Gartner’s report "Market Trends: Convergence Restructuring the Enterprise Social Software Market, Worldwide, 2010” is available here.

This story has been reprinted with permission from Information Management.

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