Social business goes mainstream in the enterprise

26 Jan 2010

The intersection of Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and collaboration heralds the start of the Social Business Era and according to IDC, already 57pc of US workers use social media for business purposes at least once per week.

“If you look deep into the social business movement you will see that we are on the brink of a fundamental change in the way businesses interact with customers, partners, suppliers and employees,” said Michael Fauscette, group vice-president, Software Business Strategies, IDC.

“Businesses today fall into three camps – the social ‘denyer’, the accidental socialite, and the socially aware. Regardless of where a company falls in these categories, customers’ expectations of technologies and the way they interact with suppliers have changed, driven greatly by the social web.”

IDC’s social business study found that 15pc of 4,710 US workers surveyed reported using a consumer social tool instead of corporate-sponsored social tools for business purposes due to the following Top 3 reasons, (1) ease of use, (2) familiarity due to personal use, and (3) low cost.

Use of social tools for business

The No 1 reason cited by US workers for using social tools for business purposes was to acquire knowledge and ask questions from a community.

While marketers are the earliest and largest adopters of social media, these tools are now gaining deeper penetration into the enterprise with use by executive managers and IT.

Software companies will increase their social software offerings significantly as customer demand steadily increases and “socialytic” applications will emerge, fusing social/collaboration software and analytics to business logic/workflow and data.

By John Kennedy

Photo: LinkedIn is a social-networking site that aims to help people network for business purposes

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years