Half of businesses consider social essential

Over 50% of user organisations in a recent AIIM survey now consider social business or Enterprise 2.0 applications to be imperative or significant to their business goals. Risk-averse culture is a primary factor impeding wider adoption.

Positive results from early adopters are driving a rapid investment in social applications within organisations to improve access to knowledge and expertise, according to the latest survey from AIIM. {{Users report the top benefits from these systems to be better knowledge sharing between staff and faster response to queries and questions}}. 51% of respondents in the survey consider social business or internal Enterprise 2.0 to be significant or imperative to their organisation’s overall business goals and success. This rises to 62% for larger organisations. Risk-averse corporate cultures are also holding many companies back.

Two thirds of respondents consider that the use of technologies such as micro-blogs, wikis, share-sites and forums to answer questions, share views and gather suggestions across the workforce, is a useful addition to the business. However, focus is needed to ensure wide participation and engagement, particularly by management-level staff.

According to AIIM’s Head of Market Intelligence, Doug Miles, “What we’re seeing from this survey is an emerging set of applications that leverage expertise and innovation inside the enterprise. Away from the hype of social marketing, a new set of internal business applications has emerged to grab these collaborative technologies and use them to boost knowledge, speed up response and improve teamwork. The bigger the organisation, the more important it is to make these tools widely accessible in order to bring together geographically dispersed teams and to break down departmental boundaries.”

Compared to previous surveys, organisations are now twice as likely to consider social business to be an infrastructure investment (27%), and the number required to make a business case based on financial returns, rather than general business benefits, has dropped from 20% to 12%. Most organisations are planning to continue their current investment in social business systems, with 20% stating their intention to increase spend in the next 12 months compared to the last 12 months.

Based on over 400 responses, the AIIM research report is entitled “Social Business Systems – success factors for Enterprise 2.0 applications” and is free to download from the AIIM website. It is underwritten by a task force of AIIM members: ABBYY, Alfresco, Box, EDB ErgoGroup, EMC, Evoapp, Huddle, Hyland Software, Iron Mountain, IBM, Igloo, Jive, Microsoft, Moxie, Newsgator, OpenText, Oracle, PFU, Socialtext, and Yammer.

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