Several years ago we began to see white papers and studies on the subject, and today practically all big IT and Consultancy firms have published their own “report” or “survey” on Social Business.
In 2007, McKinsey published their first Global Study: “How Businesses are using web 2.0”. After publishing the study for several years, there is now an interesting interactive format with results from 2007 to 2012.
The following are, among others, the most important findings from the results for 2012, published in March 2013:
• Internal Social Networks are the most popular 2.0 technology among companies (53%), followed by Blogs, Collaborative Publishing and all other 2.0 technologies.
• Obtaining new ideas is the second most popular use of this technology, only behind “Scanning External Environment”.
Then came IBM and their Chief HR Officer Study in 2010 “Working beyond borders”, for which their Executive HR Vice-president conducted over 700 interviews with HR Directors all over the world and came to the following conclusions:
In order to take advantage of collective intelligence in companies, they must:
• Integrate collaboration in how employees work: Promote the creation and application of communities. Incorporate collaboration skills to business processes and project management.
• Increase visibility of ideas and knowledge: Encourage online collaboration to find and perfect ideas and fund the best ones.
• Create and share assets that drive improved productivity: Create value through the compilation and systematic recycling of individual work.
In 2012, again IBM published its CEO’s Report “Leading Through Connections”, where Ginni Rometty, President and CEO of IBM Corporation highlights the need to provide the means for large-scale collaboration by:
• Promoting social collaboration technologies
• Devising incentives that promote collaboration
• Re-designing suggestion boxes for employees
Also in 2012, MIT Sloan Review published, in collaboration with Deloitte, its Research Report: “Social Business: What are companies really doing?” with these noteworthy conclusions:
• The growing importance of Social SW in companies: 40% expect the importance of Social Business to increase in their company in the next year, and 63% expect it to increase within the next 3 years.
• Innovation can make companies differentiate themselves in the market: Second only to “Managing client relations”, Innovation is considered the next most important use of Social Business for the CEOs interviewed in the report.
ZDNet, based on IDC estimates, Gartner and others, foresees a growth of over 40% in Enterprise Social SW until 2016, and identifies two important trends:
• Big general-purpose Social Networks for Businesses (Mature High End Suites)
• Vertical or Functional Applications (Vertical and Functional Diversification), like ideas social networks for open innovation.
In summary, in the past few years “Everyone says: Social Business”; the big IT gurus and reports by important Consultancy Firms identify a clear trend towards the expansion of internal social networks in companies and their use for Innovation by obtaining new ideas from Employees, Clients, Citizens…