Enterprise social networking, continues to gain popularity, a trend that is expected to continue at ever-increasing rates for the foreseeable future. In fact, IDC analysts predict that enterprise social applications as an industry will grow at an average 42.4% compound annual rate.
What’s causing this upwards phenomenon? What tangible benefits are companies realizing? Let’s break it down:
Serious cost savings
Why do executives and information workers want private social networks at work? Here’s how Vice President of Forrester Research put it at TUCON: if they can get better access to more information and expertise, they can make more money. The tangible benefits are having the right information at your finger tips before meeting with a customer, before deciding the next step in your product/service direction, and before making a crucial budget decision.
In a recent survey of 400 business and IT executives, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) found that 51% of respondents listed cost savings among the greatest benefits of private social networking. In a world where technology changes at breakneck speed, the ability to pull in previously disparate information sources and data from applications in the context of your conversations and workflow saves you time and financial resources.
Intranets are replaced, data becomes manageable
When it comes to searching and finding information, stodgy email systems, databases and intranets aren’t cutting it. A private social network allows information to be sorted and searched by key words and subjects. Plus, text, videos, and voice memos combine to make understanding the necessary information easier.
Retailer Macy’s adopted a social system to make their increasing volume of internal information more accessible and manageable. “tibbr enables us to quickly connect people with the colleagues and information they need,” says Larry Lewark, Macy’s Chief Information Officer. “Being able to subscribe to subjects within tibbr is a powerful way to stay current on the topics you care about most.”
Social networks help companies collaborate more efficiently
A recent altimeter report, surveying private social networking decision makers for 250+ sized organizations, asked how much impact a private social network had on collaboration between teams and departments. 64.2% of executives told Altimeter it was moderate to very significant. 65% said private social networking had an impact on reducing internal emails, while another 60% were able to streamline a business process. Other tangible business efficiencies as a result of internal social networking included increased employee retention, faster decision making, and a reduction in the volume of meetings.
Clearly, more companies are realizing the tangible benefits of private social networking. “Social enterprise tools incorporate the characteristics of social media into business processes, allowing for stronger internal collaboration, deeper understanding of customers and other positive outcomes,” Robinson, of CompTIA, said. The opportunity for companies to get ahead of the curve and realize the benefits of social ahead of competitors is huge.
For more information on private social networking, check out the tibbr resources page.