IDC tends to be at times one of the most traditional enterprise applications focused analyst organizations. They are solid, capable and do good, if a bit expensive work, because they have a bright crew watching trends and a number of excellent people who know how to drive business.
But their conservatism in their approach has been manifest with little discussion of the trends in CRM 2.0 and Web 2.0.
Today, IDC came out, as always, with a content filled study called Social Networking Application Market Overview and Forecast, that forcasts a 120% growth in revenues derived from social networking over the next two years (by 2009). The report forecasts a growth that will reach $428.3 million by that year. A LOOOONG way from the $46.8 million it was in 2006. In fact, they think that by 2009, it will be a new application category.
IDC, in their wisdom, sees three types of social networking uses as pre-eminent by that year.
- "self-service applications used by groups and marketing campaign teams;"
- brand applications that focus on persistent customer engagement;" and
- "enterprise applications that provide more effective ways of working with customers, partners, and other external parties."
They understand it exceptionally well, seeing it as a new communications platform within multiple different environments.