The global collaboration application market rose 28.4 per cent year-on-year, to US$29.1 billion in 2021, as analyst firm IDC estimates the market will grow to US$63.8 billion by 2026.
The rise in the market was attributed to companies expanding collaboration efforts to more people, the purchase and subsequent integration of multiple solutions to better meet corporate needs, as well as price increases and feature upgrades.
The growth was experienced across all collaboration markets and submarkets, which include team collaboration apps, conferencing, virtual events, enterprise communities and email apps, IDC said.
"The expectation and adoption of these applications inside and outside the workplace is now a given," said Wayne Kurtzman, research vice president of 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.
While there is demand for partners and customers to want to collaborate with businesses, IDC also claimed many businesses are slow to move on accepting collaboration.
Additionally, the analyst firm forecasted that enterprise communities will be a significant market to watch in the collaboration app space.
“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,” IDC said.
The firm added that a fully connected enterprise, combined with collaboration and intelligence, has created “a new era of metrics”.
“Newer KPIs [key performance indicators] will include key behavioural 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,” IDC said.
The analyst firm's prediction for the collaboration market comes a month after its forecast for PC shipments, with Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device trackers, saying consumer demand for PCs "has weakened in the near term and is at risk of perishing in the long term".
“Meanwhile, commercial demand has been more robust although it has also declined as businesses delay purchases," he said.