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Collaboration Software: Dramatic Growth Since Early 2020

By Dick Weisinger

A big beneficiary of COVID-19 has been remote collaboration software. More than 80 percent of workers now use some kind of software collaboration tool for their work, an increase of 44 percent compared to pre-COVID-19, according to Gartner estimates.

Spending on collaboration software tools jumped more than 30 percent during the pandemic, according to IDC.

Wayne Kurtzman, research director, IDC’s Social, Communities and Collaboration applications, said that “the future of collaborative applications will see the introduction of more intelligence, new and more visual ways of connecting with each other, and measuring true value for customers. Fast-evolving features, intelligence, a need to work together from anywhere, and a still growing demand see the collaborative applications market growing to become a $50.7 billion industry by 2025.”

Christopher Trueman, principal research analyst at Gartner, said that “collaboration tools found renewed importance during COVID-19 for their role in ensuring the productivity of suddenly remote teams. As many organizations shift to a long-term hybrid workforce model, cloud-based, personal and team productivity technologies, along with collaboration tools, will form the core of a series of new work hubs that meet the requirements of various remote and hybrid workers.”

In particular, the number of in-person meetings has dropped dramatically since the start of COVID-19. Gartner predicts that by 2024 less than one-quarter of enterprise-business meetings will be in-person.

Trueman said that “as IT leaders prepare for a mix of meeting modalities, it will be critical that they ensure equitable collaboration, tool and resource access for all meeting participants, regardless of location. Cloud-based meeting solutions and content service platforms can support this through offerings or integrations with technologies including virtual whiteboards, rich chat features, and recording and transcription capabilities.”

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