Worldwide Collaboration Applications Revenues Grew 28.4% Year Over Year in 2021; Its Fifth Consecutive Year of Double-Digit Growth, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass., August 16, 2022 – A new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that worldwide revenues in the collaboration applications market grew 28.4% year over year in 2021 to $29.1 billion. This growth was driven by a series of factors including companies expanding collaboration to more people, the purchase and integration of multiple solutions to better meet corporate needs, and price increases and/or feature upgrades. And the growth extended across all the collaboration markets and submarkets identified by IDC, including team collaboration applications, conferencing, virtual events, enterprise communities, and email applications.

The tailwinds behind the market are obvious: Collaborative applications enable people to work from anywhere, create a more productive and inclusive work community, and are key to digitally transforming a business. And the growth of more connected frontline workers — and every other type of worker — will continue over the forecast period.

"The expectation and adoption of these applications inside and outside the workplace is now a given," said Wayne Kurtzman, research vice president, Social, Communities, and Collaboration at IDC. "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 tie activities to customer outcomes. IDC estimates that the collaborative applications market will grow to $63.8 billion by 2026."

Highlights from IDC's forecast include the following:

• 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 (B2B) companies, quickly form communities where the enterprise cannot leverage it.

• Virtual events, or perhaps better called digital events, represent a great opportunity to engage audiences who may not be able to travel to key events. Supported with communities, this creates ongoing engagements at the pace of the individual.

• A fully connected enterprise, augmented with collaboration and intelligence, is already starting to create a new era of metrics. Newer KPIs will include key behavioral indicators (KBIs) that look at the effects of situational management, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving and will be tied to actual customer outcomes. Integrations are key to this evolution.

The IDC report, Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2022–2026: Adoption Creates the Collaboration Stack (Doc #US49432322), looks at the evolving future of collaborative applications market, and how we connect, meet, collaborate, form community, and measure 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).

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