Study: Enterprise social networks failing to meet expectations
Organizations aren't properly planning and executing the implementations of this type of software
IDG News Service - Enterprise social networking (ESN) software can improve communication and collaboration among employees, but most companies aren't implementing and using these products properly, leading to unmet goals, according to a new study.
ESN software can help organizations by boosting information-sharing among employees and improving cross-departmental collaboration, among other benefits, but missteps in planning and execution abound, according to the Altimeter Group study "Making the Business Case for Enterprise Social Networking."
The main mistake organizations make is not defining clearly the reasons for adopting ESN software, which offers features and capabilities like profiles, status updates and microblogging popularized by consumer social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but adapted for workplace use.
"What is the pain point? What is the problem you're trying to solve? If that's not clear, then you shouldn't be using [ESN]," said Altimeter founder and the study's lead author Charlene Li. "This isn't easy. There is no magic bullet to it. It requires a rethinking of the relationships inside your organization, and therefore a rethinking of your culture."
Altimeter, which interviewed 13 vendors and 185 end users and surveyed 81 IT decision makers from companies with more than 250 employees, found that most ESN implementations end up stuck in one or more significant roadblocks.
These include a sharp drop in interest and usage after initial enthusiasm; strong adoption in only one department; confusion about proper use of the software, due in part to a lack of executive involvement; and lack of clarity and maturity of the organization's social business strategy and goals.
Particularly surprising to Li was the finding that few organizations properly gather and analyze usage metrics for their ESN software, focusing too much on raw engagement figures and very little on stats that show whether goals are being attained and problems solved.
Companies also often fail to integrate ESN software into the existing business applications already in use by their employees, like email, collaboration platforms, CRM, ERP and office productivity suites. ESN software thus becomes yet another stand-alone tool that is under-used.
Adding to the problem is that IT decision makers tasked initially with evaluating ESN software face a very confusing market, with many offerings that often vary greatly in features and functionality.
Vendors in this relatively nascent market range from "pure play" companies like Yammer, Box.net, Jive Software and Socialtext to bigger players that are embedding ESN capabilities into broader platforms like Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Cisco and IBM.
To improve their chances of success, organizations need to define clear objectives for using ESN software, and once it's implemented, they must monitor and analyze usage in a way that gives them an idea of whether these goals are being met.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts