Social, collaboration software market to nearly double through 2023, says Gartner

Enterprises keep looking for ways to enable employees to collaborate better. Get ready to manage a portfolio of social enterprise tools.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The social software and collaboration software market is expected to nearly double by 2023 as enterprises keep spending on applications in a splintered market, according to Gartner.

Gartner is projecting that the global market for collaboration applications in the workplace will grow from $2.7 billion in 2018 to $4.8 billion by 2023. This growth will be fueled by collaboration app expansion into emerging markets and a growing base of knowledge workers hoping to stay engaged. Gartner's Digital Worker Survey, based on 7,261 people, found that 58% of respondents use real-time messaging tools daily with 45% on social media daily.

And this just in: The market isn't going to have any big winners and will remain fragmented. Gartner is betting that the collaboration software will stay focused on narrow use cases even as most enterprise vendors layer in some form of social features such as analytics, virtual personal assistants and team management tools.

 Recent collaboration developments include:

To see how fragmented the market is just taking a look at G2's grid for internal communications software.


Indeed, Gartner bets that enterprises will have to manage a portfolio of collaboration applications and vendors. The challenge will revolve around preventing silos and integrating vendors like Slack, Microsoft, and Google to name a few. This growth in applications and collaboration players is being fueled by enterprises chasing the productivity and smart office dream

If Gartner's projections are correct, enterprises are likely headed to collaboration sprawl. Enterprises already have several video conferencing tools--Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Microsoft, BlueJeans, etc--as well as messaging systems such as Slack, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. Employees may mix and match these systems daily. 

Related stories:

Editorial standards