By Elka Popova, Program Director, Unified Communications & Collaboration
Social media has emerged as an extremely powerful phenomenon with millions of users posting status updates, comments, links and pictures on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other similar sites every day. However, social networking has so far spread mostly among consumers. Businesses are only now beginning to acknowledge the benefits of using social media to enhance employee collaboration, improve customer interactions and drive growth. Most line-of-business and IT managers are still trying to understand the various implications of integrating corporate communications and customer-care technologies with public social media tools and private collaboration and networking platforms.
Frost & Sullivan recently completed its 2010 communications & collaboration technologies end-user survey, which targeted 200 North American C-level executives. The survey identifies business investment priorities and adoption drivers for advanced technologies including IM/presence, UC, audio, web and video conferencing, telepresence, and collaboration. Interestingly, 43% of respondents say enterprise social media tools are used within their organization, and 41% claim they personally use such tools. An impressive 69% are aware of enterprise social media tools. Of those using such tools, 52% use them on a daily basis. While we specifically asked about "enterprise" social media tools, it is possible that users are referring to both public and private tools, as the penetration of sophisticated, enterprise-grade social networking platforms is still quite limited.