By Neil Denslow
Gartner Group is predicting that the smart enterprise suite market will be worth US$1.5 billion by 2005.
Gartner Group is predicting that the smart enterprise suite market will be worth US$1.5 billion by 2005.The analyst house defines smart enterprise suites as the convergence of portal, collaboration and basic content management functionality. Other knowledge management capabilities, such as expertise location and e-learning, can also be included. It predicts that by 2005, smart enterprise suites will have replaced portals and team-collaboration support products as the focus of investment within the majority of businesses. "The explosion of unstructured data types is overwhelming the management infrastructure of many businesses," says French Caldwell, vice president and research director for Gartner."That problem is negatively affecting the productivity of individuals as well as the overall competitiveness of businesses. Smart enterprise suites will provide a way to organize and make sense of all the information and knowledge scattered throughout the enterprise,” he adds.Smart enterprise suites are expected to emerge by 2004 that combine the functionality currently offered by portals, team collaboration support, and content management. Gartner expects this will cause a major disruption in those markets. In the next three years, the delivery of smart enterprise suites will occur as vendors continue to service customers' short term demands while at the same time incrementally building toward longer term strategic differentiation. "We expect vendors to make conservative investments designed to round out their product functionality during the next few years," says Caldwell. "In some cases, those investments will be driven by a particular customer requirement, and once the functionality has been built, it is then ready for market," he adds.The analyst house predicts that the demand for smart enterprise suites will take off once IT infrastructure and e-workplace application investments take on a greater strategic role. Users’ need for more richly targeted content will also influence the evolution and demand, it adds.