Social networking technologies on the rise in the enterprise

Avanade, a global business technology solutions and managed services provider, today released results from a global survey on adoption of social collaboration technologies by 4,000 end users and 1,000 business and IT decision-makers in 22 countries. Data from the research shows that the majority of businesses are using social networking technologies in the enterprise.
Rudi Greyling, Avanade South Africa’s chief technology officer and innovation director. (Image source: Avanade)

However, Avanade’s research also reveals common misconceptions when it comes to social collaboration. Those who have adopted social networking technologies in their company reported using consumer-oriented social technologies including Facebook (74 percent) for collaboration at twice the rate of Microsoft SharePoint (39 percent), four times more than IBM Open Connections (17 percent), and six times more than Salesforce Chatter (12 percent).

But, data shows this trend may change in the next 12 months. Decision-makers planning to adopt social technologies report Microsoft SharePoint (23 percent) and Salesforce Chatter (23 percent) at the top of their list of collaboration deployments planned in the coming year. Though Facebook is currently ranked No. 1 among social collaboration technologies in use today (74 percent), when asked what social tools businesses wanted to adopt in the next year, Facebook fell to the very end of the list with only 8 percent of decision-makers respondents noting it as a priority.

Avanade’s research also shows the majority of businesses that have adopted social collaboration tools are seeing benefits and making plans to adopt more social tools in the future. Key data findings include:

  • Eager adopters are leveraging social technologies at work – approximately eight in 10 decision-makers (77 percent) and seven in 10 end users (68 percent) report using enterprise social networking technologies.
  • Of those businesses currently using social collaboration tools, 82 percent want to use more of them in the future.
  • Across the board, IT and business decision-makers, along with end users, report positive outcomes from their use of social collaboration technologies in the enterprise. IT decision-makers report these social technologies make their jobs more enjoyable (66 percent), make them more productive (62 percent), and help them get work done faster (57 percent).
  • With all the positive perceptions and business outcomes, a healthy minority of business and IT decision-makers (23 percent) have not yet adopted social collaboration tools in the enterprise.

Businesses have a variety of needs and expectations driving adoption of collaboration tools. And the consumerisation of IT has raised expectations among employees about the social technologies that they can use to collaborate inside and outside of the organisation,” said Rudi Greyling, Avanade South Africa’s chief technology officer and innovation director. “To fully maximise the opportunity around these tools, successful collaboration strategies will align closely to the goals of the business, while prioritising the needs of end users, and be supported by the right tools, training and policies to promote adoption throughout the organisation. Furthermore, as reported in the 2013 Accenture Technology Vision, integrating collaboration into business processes will also transform the way work is done in the enterprise. We see huge opportunity for business results with the right social collaboration strategy in place.”

Staff Writer