Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Live @ Lotusphere: The Social Business Market’s So Big We Gotta Wear Shades

with 6 comments

Whenever I attend a conference like Lotusphere, one of the first things I do other than check into the hotel, make sure I have coffee (and cream) in my room, and find out what time the closest bar closes, is to head to the nearest market intelligence breakdown so I can start to understand the immensity (or lack thereof) of what it is we’re going to be talking about.

IBM market researcher Carol Galvin presents an overview of the $100B social business marketplace during the first day of Lotusphere 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

I don’t do this just because it’s fun — although it can be that, too — but so I can start to get my head around the market opportunity for a given space, and all the goodness that sits behind those wonderful numbers, projections, and soothsaying.

At this year’s Lotusphere Business Development Day (which is still going on as I write this), IBM principal segment analyst Carol Galvin and senior strategist Catherine Lord, IBM Collaboration Services Strategy, provided just such an overview, spending an hour at the Swan this morning outlining the $100B social business marketplace opportunity.

Yeah, that number got your attention, huh?  You didn’t hear me wrong: $100 billion.  With a “B.”

A big, fat, social “B.”

Oh, and I’m not talkin’ about that in the context that $50B of that is Facebook’s market valuation.  I’m talking about just the enterprise social business opportunity.

Before they got to the particulars, Carol and Catherine painted a broad canvas of what’s driving this opportunity: We’re coming out of a recession, globalization has driven expanded Internet and mobile access into people’s hands in parts of the world that largely missed Web 1.0, and the way we’re all working together and collaborating is changing.


Furthermore, the new delivery models are evolving.

The cloud (or “SaaS”) opportunity alone is expected to grow 11% for the collaboration space at a compounded annual growth rate through 2015, resulting in an overall $17B market on that front alone.  The portal market will continue to grow at 5.4% CAGR during that time, and social software 5.1%.

And we haven’t even gotten to the social analytics opportunity (somebody’s gotta analyze and leverage all that social data, right?  Well, right??!)

Other key factors driving the external environment include the continued introduction of new devices and means of access (think everything from the iPhone to the iPad to GoogleTV and beyond). Those new “windows” into the cloud simply mean more opportunity for connecting, managing, and learning from these systems and new data end-to-end.

But, let’s also not forget the changing demographics, which means changing behaviors by people, arguably the most important ingredient in the social business soup.

The complexion of the workforce is changing around the world, and it’s the emerging markets which are growing the most quickly.

That, combined with the stimulus led dollars opening big coffers in healthcare, public sector, and the transportation/infrastructure sector, suggest the social business market’s so huge…well, yeah, ya just gotta wear shades.

But they can’t be just any old shades:

They preferably should be GPS-enabled, allow you to visualize in real-time where all the other cool shades are, and, collectively, be able to tell you what’s the coming thing in shades before anybody else (including your competitors).

If you’re still wondering why companies should compel themselves to become more social, try on the fact that of those growing higher than the average in their industry they’re 57% more times likely to use collaboration!

Or look at it through the lost opportunity lens: Each of your employees who haven’t gotten past the “productivity plateau” and embraced good social business practices is costing your organization $10K a year in lost productivity.

To help you with the math, at IBM that would be an estimated $4B in lost opportunity a year.  Ouch.

I definitely don’t think Sam Palmisano would be a happy camper CEO if we were losing $4B in lost opportunity just because we weren’t taking advantage of the social business opportunity at IBM — which, by the way, we are.

I would  venture to say IBM is one of the world’s most social companies, and much of what we’re learning we’re putting to use on behalf of our customers.

So, that’s the big picture on what the market looks like and where it’s going — let’s now get #ls11 to blossom into full swing and learn how we can all tap into that $100B pie and, in the process, learn how to work better together around the globe.

Written by turbotodd

January 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

6 Responses

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  1. […] post: Live @ Lotusphere: The Social Business Market's So Big We Gotta … Tags: and-the, combined-with, led-dollars, opening-big, public-sector, social business, […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Watson, The Tech Gang. The Tech Gang said: #Business #Analytics Live @ Lotusphere: The Social Business Market's So Big We Gotta …: acquisitions business … http://bit.ly/eOyB0B […]

  3. I always learn something new and interesting from reading your blog, Todd, and this post was no exception. Always fascinating, and always on the money.

    Nice work.


    J.G. Sandom

    February 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

  4. Many inputs I’ve learned today from your post, hope you will post the complete outcome of the event in your future post, I really love the way you comment on these kinds of things. Thanks.

    Christopher Hinn

    February 6, 2011 at 2:32 am

  5. […] The way of doing business has changed very substantially, first with the advent of Internet and Web, and second, with the increasing focus on Social Media. Internet and Web metamorphosed everything-recruiting, hiring, consumer expectations, customer support, marketing strategies, IT investments, corporate structure, job responsibilities, workplace skills, employer/employee relations and more. And, social media, with its increasing use by people not only for personal networking but also for their buying and purchasing activities leading to Social Consumerism, has created a virtual platform stringing together business owners and consumers. Seemingly a nascent social business marketplace is quoted at least $100 billion […]

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