Gartner says the barrier to entry is low because the market is so highly fragmented and there are few direct competitors.
Have you ever wanted to praise a colleague and make sure that everyone in the company knew about your compliment?
There's collaboration software for that.
Kudos is a collaboration platform designed to decrease presenteeism and absenteeism, build company unity and increase happiness at work. You win points for each kudo that you get. You can redeem those points, naturally, for a gift card.
Slack and Microsoft Teams are the top-of-mind collaboration platforms, but those two are just best known members of a very crowded field. Craig Roth, a research vice president at Gartner, said that the collaboration marketplace is so fragmented that he had to stop creating market share reports.
"The definition of a market is a bunch of players that compete against each other to meet similar needs," he said. "The list of products I had were not overlapping at all."
The worldwide market for social software and collaboration in the workplace is expected to grow from about $2.7 billion in 2018 to $4.8 billion by 2023, according to Gartner.
"Those three have risen to the level of true markets: competitors competing to do the same thing," he said. "But the other ones just haven't come anywhere close to that level yet."
Roth is interested in collaboration software that takes on attention management.
He recommends that vendors pay attention to this space.
"Attention management makes some things more important and some less," he said. "It helps people manage email, such as putting less important topics in a digest that is sent at the end of the day, or even deleted."
Attention management may be the cure for self-induced attention deficit disorder and a better measure of productivity than time management.
Workers have to use collaboration software for an implementation to be successful, of course. Based on other research he's done, Roth estimates that only about 15% of workers are ready to change the way that they work. Selecting collaboration software is the easy part.
"The tough part is getting workers to change how they work, and this being collaboration software, you have to change how everyone else works as well," he said.
"By 2023, we expect nearly 60% of enterprise application software providers will have included some form of social software and collaboration functionalities in their software product portfolios," Roth said.
Roth said that he doesn't see many acquisitions happening even though there is no end of possibilities because there are so many small vendors.
"Larger vendors probably feel they can do it themselves and for the most part, there are not a lot of recognizable brand names that would be worth buying for name recognition or the install base.
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