A new report from analyst Gartner predicts that the web conferencing and team collaboration software market in the Middle East will grow 45% in 2008 to be worth $16.4 million. Although the market is still small in global terms, it is the second fastest growing region in the world after Eastern Europe. Worldwide the market is expected to grow 22% in 2008, bringing the total value to $2 billion.
The growth is being driven by an increasing emphasis in enterprises on workplace communities, which are being supported by tools such as web conferencing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and even social networks and wiki. However, in the Middle East and Africa email still is used as the primary method of business communication.
"In the coming years, collaboration as a function will become more strategic for many organisations," commented Bianca Granetto, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Organisations will increasingly observe, manage, monitor and measure, and archive the artifacts of collaboration. Collaboration strengthens business processes and increases the value of personal interaction."
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.