Gartner: Social Software Is an Enterprise Reality

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gartner social mediaGartner released a report “Predicts 2010: Social Software Is an Enterprise Reality” in which analysts offer predictions for the next five years. Concentrating on social software Gartner stresses five key points.

1. By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.

This prediction is matches our own view of changes brought on by mass adoption of social networking sites. (Social Media Replaces Email and IM and 22 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2010). Gartner predicts that by 2014 about 20 percent of business users will use social networking sites as the hub of their business communications. We believe this number to be even higher as social networking companies will push to make this happen. On the other hand email provides will seek out ways to turn their user-base to social networks. These trends will blur the line between social and email.

2. By 2012, over 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging, but stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration.

Our view is that in-house corporate microbloging platforms will not see wide spread adoption. The main reason for this is that small user base will not generate enough social chatter to keep the interest up. The second obstacle in the adoption of private microblogging platforms will be the resistance from employees who see it as another “time waster”.

3. Through 2012, over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail.

Well, this is a bit of a no brainer. We have seen it in our work and we firmly believe that IT-people should be kept away from making decisions about marketing communications. As Gartner puts it:

When it comes to collaboration, IT organizations are accustomed to providing a technology platform (such as, e-mail, IM, Web conferencing) rather than delivering a social solution that targets specific business value.

Social media communications is a business process. This process needs tools that come out of IT-department, but they do not define those processes. Business side must be very careful not to bend under the pressure from IT about what can or cannot be done.

nexus-one4. Within five years, 70 percent of collaboration and communications applications designed on PCs will be modeled after user experience lessons from smartphone collaboration applications.

Yes, mobile is big! It will get BIGGER. But the user experience on different devices will (hopefully) be driven by delivering the best user experience, doh. Gartner suggests that people are more productive on smartphones than on PCs due to better user interfaces.

The experience with these tools for all who use them will enable the user to handle far more conversations within a given amount of time than their PCs simply because they are easier to use.

We believe that small devices have inherently worse user experience than their desktop counterparts. This ensures that full size computers will continue to provide superior user experience. This will hold until we have perfected voice commands, HUD-glasses and other wearable computing technologies.

5. Through 2015, only 25 percent of enterprises will routinely utilize social network analysis to improve performance and productivity.

The Gartner’s number 25 percent seems reasonable, but the reasoning does not. Privacy concerns will not hold people from analyzing social data. Lack of knowledge and initiative in the enterprise will do that. Our personal information is mined and analyzed in countless places and most of us don’t care. Agreed, social is more personal than that, but we believe that a lot of the benefits can be dug out from anonymous statistical analysis that doesn’t invade privacy. For more sensitive information consumers can trade privacy for benefits.

Social networking is in it infancy and the next few years will see a lot of change. How we communicate with friends and businesses, new business models and processes, new hardware technology, user interfaces, etc. But at the core of it is our need to communicate and belong. So, there.

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Priit Kallas

Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.

3 Responses

  1. Priit Kallas says:

    Well, Ed, I would still think that people would move away from plain standalone (web)email due to that. The new social tools would be email-like but not perceived as such. When I send a message in Facebook don’t call it an email

  2. Ed Buchholz says:

    The key here is that social tools won’t outright replace email / IM, but will integrate them together with activity streams into one communication portal.

  3. Priit Kallas says:

    You’re already a cyborg. Deal with it. Scott Adams’ vision of the future of mobile user experience. Great read

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