Our Forecast for Workstream Collaboration has just published. It shows that the workstream collaboration market is expected to grow from an estimated $2.3 billion in 2019 to $6.5 billion by 2024. For those unfamiliar with our terms, the workstream collaboration market contains cloud office vendors (Microsoft Teams and Google Workplace: Hangouts Chat), native vendors (Slack, Mattermost, Rocketchat, and others), and telephony vendors (Cisco Webex Teams, RingCentral Glip, and others). The WSC market was top of mind this year due to COVID-19, the impending retirement of Skype for Business Online and the acquisition of Slack.
That may sound like a lot of players and there is still room for consolidation in this market, but the Gartner Competitive Index (GCI) will stay above 5 — and closer to 5.5 (around the middle of “moderate concentration and competitiveness”) — through 2024.
There are many significant updates in this forecast, but I’ll focus on just one for today: the increase in customer-facing roles using WSC. The early users of WSC tended to be among IT and technically savvy end-user groups. It has been especially popular with developers and marketing product managers, for example.
But customer-facing roles, both internal and external, provide a much larger playing field for WSC. The data below comes from a 2019 survey. Sales, service, and customer interaction were already higher than many of the general use cases. In fact, we predict that by 2024, 50% of WSC users will reside in customer-facing roles.
These critical roles will give WSC a foothold in core business processes – and with the owners of those processes. WSC will have an easier time proving value and keeping its place in the enterprise when it is seen as a mission-critical tool for servicing customers. With a forecasted 23.3% five-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate), WSC is primed to drive digital workplace investments.