IDC: Social Media in the Workplace

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September 14, 2009 – The new IDC study, U.S. Online Community Software 2009-2013 Forecast,  shows that the U.S. online community software market doubled in revenue from $135.3 million in 2007 to $278.4 million in 2008 based on the promise of online community software to help organizations deepen relationships with customers and innovate at faster speeds.

Online community software enables new ways of working that require a shift in mindset and culture. IDC finds that traditional corporate culture acts as a major barrier to adoption today, even more so than the economic downturn.

“The idea of social software in general is to be more transparent. This challenges traditional corporate culture set up as a hierarchy and companies that operate in a very siloed manner. Online community software opens everything up to conversation. For some companies, the idea that they will not have as much control over what’s communicated is an adjustment,” said Caroline Dangson, IDC research analyst.

According to IDC’s forecast, the U.S. online community software market will grow from $278.4 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion in 2013. While the U.S. online community software market was not immune to the recession, dominant vendors in this space reported double-digit growth rates in 2008 and higher-than-expected growth in the first half of 2009.

“Right now there are case studies but no standardized way to show ROI, as it is a new technology. In 2010-2011 adoption will increase as the stories come out about what the value is. People are holding back to see what competitors are doing. Interest is very, very high in the software, but actual adoption is going to take some time to see a large acceptance,” said Dangson.

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