Forrester study: Hot growth for Web 2.0 suites.... [ed. like Drupal]
by Kieran Lal
On August 9th, 2007 the Drupal association was invited to participate in a study to size the global enterprise Web 2.0 market. We were invited since Drupal was associated with this technology market. Forrester wanted to get our insights and perspectives to help us with their research. The research and questions were answered by Troy Angrignon and myself. Troy and I discussed this report at Druaplcon Barcelona and he offered to help make some estimates of the Drupal business opportunity at the time.
The report was released yesterday, and it's great news for Drupal. Why? First, Forrester identified seven critical Web 2.0 functional areas. In order of revenue growth they are: Social Networks, RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Mashups, Podcasting, and Widgets. Drupal supports or enables all of them today. Drupal's flexible web application framework has made it possible to keep evolving quickly to support each new Web 2.0 functional trend. More importantly we've got thousands of experienced professionals trained and innovating with these features while delivering to a wide variety of vertical markets.
Forrester has made a series of growth predictions for the Web 2.0 market. While the Drupal economy has had some bumps recently, my colleagues in the community are reporting strong growth and demand for their skills and services that are inline with these growth predictions. Forrester predicts there will be a proliferation of open source Web 2.0 software internally in the enterprise. At the Open Source Business conference a few weeks ago, it was predicted that the zero cost of acquisition for piloting open source products in the enterprise would give open source a competitive advantage over proprietary software and it's "pay to try" business models.
Forrester also predicts that Web 2.0 deployments inside the enterprise will deepen. That means if enterprises are trying a wiki, or a blog, or using LinkedIn to do business, they'll be deeply integrating all these features into future projects. Guess which open source platform is ready today to help enterprise go deeper into Web 2.0? You guessed it, Drupal. Jeff has already identified intranets as a dormant opportunity for Drupal. Companies like Best Buy are using Drupal for internal social publishing. The World Bank is also using Drupal for the World Resources Institute. I've talked to one intranet-only Drupal consultant who has over 100 intranet's under his belt. One is even an extranet allowing for collaboration between the United States and Chinese partners. Unfortunately, it's been a lot harder to get case studies for intranet sites.
Jeff, Bryan, and myself will be meeting with Oliver Young, the author of this study on Thursday. I hope to have enough material from our meeting to do a couple more blog posts diving deeper into the reports findings. There's more good news in the details and the Drupal community should preparing to take advantage of the largest growth opportunities.