The social software and collaboration space for businesses has been expanding rapidly over the past few years. Tap into the best practices for embracing success in social networking.
Analyst firm Gartner, Inc. has revealed its key predictions on the use of social software and collaboration in the enterprise
. These predictions focus on offerings ranging from team collaboration to dynamic social networking applications that offer rich profiles and activity streams.
"The growing use of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook by business user has resulted in serious enterprise dialogue about procuring social software platforms for the business," said Mark R. Gilbert, research vice president at Gartner and co-chair of the Portals, Content and Collaboration (PCC) Summit. "Success in social software and collaboration will be characterized by a concerted and collaborative effort between IT and the business."
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Gartner offers five key predictions where social software is headed over the next several years.
By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.
Greater availability of social networking services both inside and outside the firewall, coupled with changing demographics and work styles will lead 20 percent of users to make a social network the hub of their business communications. During the next several years, most companies will be building out internal social networks and/or allowing business use of personal social network accounts. Social networking will prove to be more effective than e-mail for certain business activities such as status updates and expertise location.
"The rigid distinction between e-mail and social networks will erode. E-mail will take on many social attributes, such as contact brokering while social networks will develop richer e-mail capabilities," said Matt Cain, research vice president at Gartner. "While e-mail is already almost fully penetrated in the corporate space, we expect to see steep growth rates for sales of premises- and cloud-based social networking services. "
Gartner recommends that organizations develop a long-term strategy for provisioning and consuming a rich set of collaboration and social software services, and develop policies governing the use of consumer services for business purposes. Companies should also solicit input from the business community on what collaboration tools would be most helpful.
By 2012, over 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging.
The huge popularity of the consumer-microblogging service Twitter, has led many organizations to look for an "enterprise Twitter". Enterprise users want to use microblogging for many of the same reasons that consumers do to share quick insights, to keep up with what colleagues are doing, to get quick answers to questions and so on. "However, it will be very difficult for microblogging as a stand-alone function to achieve widespread adoption within the enterprise. Twitter's scale is one of the reasons for its popularity," said Jeffrey Mann, research vice president for Gartner.
Through 2012, fifty percent of business-led social media initiatives will succeed, versus 20 percent of IT-driven initiatives.
Enterprises will need to develop entirely new skill sets around designing and delivering social media solutions. But long term, enterprises will realize that social media is not a "hit or miss" activity naturally prone to high failure rates, and that a calculated approach to social media solution delivery must be an IT competency. At that point, post 2012, the social software market growth will accelerate as will the overall impact of social media on business and society.
Contact Synergy today for a complimentary strategy session to discuss your businesses' social media goals and how Synergy Connect can help you start achieving these today. Call us today at 604-681-0516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.