IDC has found that global revenues in the collaboration applications market grew 28.4% year-over-year in 2021 to $29.1 billion.
The IDC report, Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2022–2026: Adoption Creates the Collaboration Stack, examines the evolving future of the collaborative applications market and how the industry connects, meets, collaborates, forms communities, and measures the impact of working together.
The report provides a five-year forecast for worldwide collaboration applications revenue in current and constant dollars, as well as revenue by geographic region and deployment type (cloud and non-cloud).
The company notes that the global revenue increase was driven by a range of factors, such as businesses expanding collaboration to more people, purchasing and integrating multiple offerings to better meet corporate needs, as well as higher prices and upgrades to features.
IDC also saw the growth extend throughout all the collaboration markets and submarkets it recognises, including team collaboration applications, conferencing, virtual events, enterprise communities and email applications.
Further, IDC says the reasoning behind this market increase is obvious, acknowledging that collaborative applications allow people to work from anywhere, foster greater productivity in the workplace and a more inclusive work community and are also critical to a company's digital transformation.
It adds that frontline workers, and in fact all workers, will continue to be increasingly connected over this forecast period.
"The expectation and adoption of these applications inside and outside the workplace is now a given," IDC social, communities, and collaboration research vice president Wayne Kurtzman says.
"In the years ahead, collaboration platforms will become more engaging, visual, functional, and community-powered.
"These features, aided by intelligence, will rapidly evolve and support working from anywhere. A new array of metrics will also develop that intertwine activities with customer outcomes.
"IDC estimates that the collaborative applications market will grow to $63.8 billion by 2026."
Highlights from IDC's forecast include:
- The increase in partners and customers wanting to collaborate with any given business is significant and continues to grow, yet many businesses remain slow to accept the offer to collaborate.
- Enterprise communities will be a market to watch. Companies that do not provide a well-moderated community will have users, even for business-to-business companies, quickly form communities where the enterprise cannot leverage it.
- Virtual events represent an excellent opportunity to engage audiences who may not be able to travel to key events. Supported with communities, this creates ongoing engagements at the individual's pace.
- A fully connected enterprise, augmented with collaboration and intelligence, is already starting to create a new era of metrics. Newer KPIs will include key behavioural indicators that look at situational management, creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving effects and will be tied to legitimate customer outcomes. Integrations are critical to this evolution.