Business will get more social in 2011, IDC says

Major vendors also expected to scoop up small social software vendors

Businesses will increasingly turn to social networking tools in 2011, but there will be fewer social platforms for companies to choose from, according to predictions from IT research firm IDC.

If that's the case, Social and collaboration platforms will gain significantly more momentum next year.

Business-focused platforms won't be the only ones seeing a spike in business. IDC noted that many small and medium-sized businesses will turn to social networks such as Facebook to "establish a free online presence that improves their ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers without the hassle and cost of setting up a traditional Web site."

These expectations for 2011 come from IDC's "Top 10 Predictions 2011" report, which was released late last week.

Frank Gens, chief analyst with IDC, said in the report that social networking is one of the technologies that will move beyond early adopter status and will mature into a mainstream platform in the coming year.

Among Gens' predictions is that Jive Software Inc. , will have an IPO in the coming year. Jive is an enterprise 2.0 service that uses Facebook-like social networking tools, such as updates, people search and communication channels, and applies them to the corporate world.

Gens also predicts that major vendors such as Oracle , SAP , Microsoft , Hewlett Packard, Cisco Systems and IBM will be looking to buy up socially focused businesses to either jump into the social/collaboration space or to beef up their current offerings.

Gens went to so far as to predict that 30 per cent of the players in the social software market will be swallowed up by other companies in 2011.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, also said there will be a lot of acquisitions of social networking companies this year. But he added that the market will shrink partly because companies that have been testing the social waters will fail and fall away.

"It won't be a huge year for social networking but a bigger year than 2010," Olds said. "The economy, as a whole, will definitely be a factor, holding the market back a bit. If the economy recovers, then, yeah, it might be a huge year."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT industryJive SoftwareIDCapplicationsEnterprise Web 2.0softwareWeb 2.0 and Web AppscollaborationFacebookEnterprise Web 2.0/Collaboration

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?