The software that underpins corporate blogs, wikis and discussion forums is producing an impressive source of revenue, which is set to grow by double figures in the next couple of years.
According to Gartner the revenue generated by social software, the tools that provide interactive networks, will hit $664.4m this year, a 14.9% increase on 2009, and then will rise by 15.7% in 2011.
The attitude of enterprises towards social networks has been evolving over the last couple of years as the ability to create forums for staff to share information has been identified as a positive.
Some caution remains towards more public tools, like Facebook, which cannot be controlled in the same way a corporate social network can.
"The social software market is evolving in response to the demand for flexible environments in which participants can connect, create, share and find people and information relevant to their work," said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner.
The majority of the social tools being used are coming via the cloud and apart from the occasional customer group the focus is on providing internal forums around departments or job functions.