Enterprise social media use set to double by 2013: report

Social media use for collaboration in the enterprise is set to double by 2013, with the education, financial and professional services sectors driving the uptake, a new report claims.

The Australian Enterprise Social Media and Collaboration Report 2011, released by Frost & Sullivan, predicted that staff familiarity with social media will cause its use in the enterprise to grow in excess of 25% between 2013 and 2015.

Frost & Sullivan’s ICT research director, Audrey William, said the report shows that the role of social media is changing collaboration.”The online social communities that individuals have built up in the past few years are now spilling over into work,” William said. “As a result the role of social media is changing.”

William said a desire to collaborate with other staff members internally is driving the uptake, but that customer-driven initiatives are also relying on Web 2.0 technology.

“Right now, the ability to collaborate and share information internally is one of the main reasons organisations encourage the use of social media,” she said. “Over time, this approach will be extended to include customer-facing functions.”

The survey found that 46% of businesses still rely on email to send and receive documents across teams.

Some 162 Australian IT managers and decision makers surveyed on the role of social media in the enterprise. “The market for enterprise social media and collaboration is in its early growth stages and as such there will be acquisitions and partnerships in this space,” William said.

“Vendors in the unified communications, video conferencing, software and IT segments have recently acquired social media and collaboration companies to strengthen their existing offerings whilst others have embarked on partnerships with some of the leading vendors in the enterprise social networking and team collaboration space.”

Earlier this month, Clearswift announced the findings from its WorkLifeWeb report which showed that Australian IT managers are struggling to deal with social media in the enterprise, with more blocking Web 2.0 sites despite their status as being “critical” to company development.

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