I was on the phone with someone the other day (whose name I won’t mention) who has been in the E2.0 space for quite some time and is someone that I trust. We where chatting a bit about E2.0 and the marketplace. The question of, “is there really a market for E2.0,” came up. We know that there are several vendors/tools in the E2.0 space and there are also several consultants that offer E2.0 services. Apparently many companies do believe and understand that Enterprise 2.0 is valuable, but if that’s the case then why aren’t the handful of consultancies in the Enterprise 2.0 space making a killing? There is a definite feeling of secrecy amongst consultancies and companies in the space and it seems as though everyone is just trying to keep to themselves. This makes me wonder if anyone is actually doing much with E2.0 at all.
In short, yes I do believe there is a strong market for Enterprise 2.0. I wrote a post a while ago which stated:
“A recent article in Venture Beat mentions Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior’s prediction that the Enterprise collaboration market will swell to $34 Billion. The IDC predicts the market to be $1.6 Billion by 2013 and Forrester predicted that the market will be $4.6 Billion by 2013.”
So again, yes, I do believe that a market does exist. However I think there are a few things going in the Enterprise 2.0 space which we should really pay attention to that might help us understand why we aren’t seeing “more” going on:
- The Enterprise 2.0 space is extremely competitive; companies don’t want their competitors to know what they are doing. With social media, companies don’t have a choice because they are participating in a public medium, but with E2.0 it’s a completely different story.
- The sales cycle for Enterprise 2.0 is pretty darn long. I’m in the process of working on something that has been in the works now for over 2 months (budgets for E2.0 are also considerably greater).
- Enterprise 2.0 is an extremely long process, you can’t just purchase a tool, launch it, and then sit back and watch people start to use it. In fact, I don’t know of any companies out there that have completely gone Enterprise 2.0 across the board. There might be some E2.0 components or departments that are getting involved but companies as a whole are just not there yet.
- Many companies interested in Enterprise 2.0 are looking for a drilled down approach, meaning E2.0 steps or phases, i.e. step 1 is an assessment of the company’s E2.0 capabilities and readiness. This means that while companies are moving in the right direction for E2.0, that they are far from there.
- Some companies are looking internally to launch their E2.0 efforts instead of reaching out to other consultancies to help them out.
These are a few things I have been noticing from speaking with various companies and practitioners in the space. I’m confident that the space is going to continue to grow and there is definitely a market demand for E2.0. One of the things I am working on is figuring out how to make it easier for companies to get involved with E2.0. Any thoughts and ideas? Have you noticed anything else going on that might be of interest?