Gartner Forecast’s Double-Digit Growth for Collaborative Apps

Spending on social and collaborative applications likely will see double-digit growth this year, according to a Gartner forecast, as businesses focus on keeping remote workers connected during the pandemic and beyond.

While video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex were the big winners of the global shift to remote working during 2020, there has also been an uptick in interest in other types of platforms that connect workers and facilitate ad-hoc communications and “watercooler”-style interactions.

Revenues in three software market segments – collaborative work management, enterprise social networks. and employee communication software – are set to reach almost $4.5 billion in 2021, a 17 percent increase from $3.8 billion in 2020, according to Gartner’s “Forecast Analysis: Social and Collaboration Software in the Workplace, Worldwide.”

The five-year forecast predicts that revenues will increase by double-digit percentages each year to $6.9 billion in 2024; the research firm increased its long-term revenue growth forecast in comparison to its 2019 expectations due to the global shift toward remote work. Other drivers behind the increase include a rise in the number of knowledge workers globally, according to Gartner.

Of the three areas covered in the report, collaborative work management tools – including the likes of Asana, Trello and Monday – were the biggest driver of revenue growth, as businesses sought to digitize “non-routine” task management and coordination processes that would otherwise require back-and-forth emails.

The report also forecasts that collaborative and social functionality will increasingly be embedded into CRM, HR and ERP business applications. Gartner predicts that 65 percent of enterprise application software provides will include collaboration features in their products by 2025.