IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that for the third consecutive year, IDC has ranked Big Blue No. 1 in worldwide market share for enterprise social software.
According to IDC's analysis of 2011 revenue, IBM grew faster than its competitors and nearly two times faster than the overall market which grew approximately 40 percent, IBM said.
The growing popularity of social networking continues to explode, with more and more organizations looking for ways to adopt social business practices to integrate global teams, drive innovation, increase productivity and better reach customers and partners. Microsoft's reported recent $1.2 billion agreement to buy enterprise social networking specialist Yammer is evidence of this, as is Salesforce.com's acquisition of Buddy Media and Oracle's buy of Vitrue.
According to IDC, the enterprise social platforms market is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2016, representing growth of 43 percent over the next four years.
While this demand is on the rise, organizations are still looking for ways to embrace social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, from marketing to research innovation and human resources, but lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way, IBM said in a press release.
"Social software is gaining in momentum in the enterprise," said Michael Fauscette, group vice president for IDC's Software Business Solutions Group, in a statement. "Companies are seeing significant gain in productivity and increasing value from successfully deployed social software solutions including supporting ad hoc work by bringing people, data, content and systems together in real time and making more effective critical business decisions by providing the 'right information' in the work context."