In today’s world, businesses are growing smart and seek new technologies to achieve more at optimum use of resources. It is a known fact that, in order to achieve greater effectiveness, business needs to grow more productive and more productivity can be achieved only when the organization becomes more transparent and each and every individual in the company is aware of what exactly are his or her responsibilities and duties. It has been observed in the past that lack of co-ordination has resulted in businesses suffering both financially and in terms of reputation. So, it becomes important that there is close co-ordination among employees and every individual is in sync with the company so that he or she can deliver the best.

Enterprise social software or ESS is one such solution that is emerging as the new innovative tool to improve co-ordination among employees. ESS is an extended version of collaborative tools that existed from a long time. ESS is now being integrated with traditional e-mail and other communication tools existing in the organization. The problem with having only e-mail as a networking medium is that, it reaches only a few in the organization and if one does not have access to e-mail or accidentally misses the e-mail, he or she can never know what is being conveyed. In case of ESS, those who have subscribed get the message real time and the recipient can immediately respond back which gets conveyed to everybody in the group without any delays.

With more and more businesses inclined towards social media tools like social networking sites, blogs, content sharing websites, the overall usage of ESS is set to grow in the coming years and the end-user companies are expected to adopt these solutions in more numbers.

Europe and APAC are emerging as show stealers No doubt, North America still holds the larger market share and most of the customers are still from this region. But, in terms of combined annual growth rate, both Europe and APAC are ahead of North America.

This is obvious because, in North America, most of the businesses have already been using enterprise social software and the ESS market here is mature. Whereas, in Europe and APAC, the adoption is picking up and the same trend is expected to continue at least till 2021. Businesses in both these regions are growing and expanding their presence and in this scenario, they are likely to invest in smarter IT tools like ESS to improve the collaboration and productivity.

Enterprises are the major users; IT and Telecom industry are the prime adopters Enterprises generally consist of larger workforce and their employees are spread across the globe serving clients in different parts of the world. In this case, both the internal employees and those serving outside require to co-ordinate and collaborate more frequently for better execution of projects. Thus, enterprises are going for those solutions which are not just a collaborative tool but also a solution where employees can share their ideas and responses.

Among the verticals, the IT andTelecom companies have emerged as the largest consumers of these solutions. The main reason being that most of the employees in this industry serve at the client’s place and require to interact with their companies on a daily basis. This has prompted them to adopt ESS. Other than these, ESS is finding its place even in healthcare, manufacturing, e-commerce and others. Going forward, it is expected that ESS will see a comprehensive adoption irrespective of the industry or the business nature.

On-premise adoption rate is high, but cloud catching up As of now, use of on-premise enterprise social software is high and this segment contributes more to the market share when compared to the cloud based solution. As enterprises form the larger end-user group of this solution, they prefer more control on their data and information and hence we see more use of onpremise enterprise social software. But, going forward, it is expected that the cloud based adoption will start overtaking the on-premise solutions. This is because, all enterprises, mid-size and small companies will start adopting these solutions to enjoy greater cost advantage.

Challenges Although enterprise social software is being implemented across developed economies, the level of knowledge about the solution in other developing and under-developed countries is still low. The service providers are faced with the task of educating businesses about the benefits of such solutions. Moreover, businesses here are not keen to adopt such solutions and see them just as an extra investment. They also have limited themselves to usage of old techniques and are reluctant to switch to new technologies. Added to this, the employees where these solutions are implemented avoid usage of this solution as they feel that their privacy and data integrity would be at stake. Overcoming of these challenges would enable the growth of ESS in the coming years.