Enterprise social networks will become the primary communication channels for noticing, deciding or acting on information relevant to carrying out work, Gartner has forecast.
However, whilst adoption is set to escalate, Gartner estimates that through 2015, 80% of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology.
Carol Rozwell, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner, explained: “Businesses need to realize that social initiatives are different from previous technology deployments. Traditional technology rollouts, such as ERP or CRM, followed a ‘push’ paradigm.
“Workers were trained on an app and were when expected to use it. In contrast, social initiatives require a ‘pull’ approach, one that engages workers and offers them a significantly better way to work. In most cases, they can't be forced to use social apps, they must opt-in.”
Gartner urged leaders of social business initiatives to shift their emphasis away from deciding which technology to implement and instead focus on identifying how social initiatives will improve work practices for both individual contributors and managers.
Rozwell added: “There is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships. Leaders need to develop a social business strategy that makes sense for the organization and tackle the tough organizational change work head on and early on. Successful social business initiatives require leadership and behavioural changes. Just sponsoring a social project is not enough — managers need to demonstrate their commitment to a more open, transparent work style by their actions.”
Gartner outlined two additional key predictions around social and collaboration:
- By 2016, 50% of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and that 30% of these will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today.
The analyst firm highlighted the benefits Facebook-like enterprise social networking software can bring for businesses, including the communication of information and events usually found in external systems, such as email, office applications and business applications.
- In 2017, the majority of all new user-facing applications will exhibit gamified-social-mobile fusion.
Three key feature sets (social, mobile and gamification) are already emerging in the marketplace in user-facing applications and over the next five years, Gartner predicted that these will continue to co-emerge and fuse into a superset so by 2017, they will appear in the majority of user-oriented applications and apps.
Tom Austin, VP and Gartner fellow, said: “Users should include gamified-social-mobile fusion as a desired set of characteristics when evaluating new application investments. Applications and app-providers that fail to exploit the benefits of gamification-social-mobile fusion should expect underwhelming adoption, and therefore sales, of any user-facing products competing against alternatives that exploit the benefits of this fusion.”