Social network services may usurp e-mail as the main method for communications among 20 percent of all business workers, thanks to the rising influence of Facebook and Twitter. That was one of five enterprise social software predictions Gartner analysts made Feb. 2. Gartner also predicted that while more than 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging by 2012, stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration. Also: Social network analysis won't fly right away, 70 percent of IT-led social projects will fail, and social apps will be modeled after smartphones.
Thanks to the influence of Facebook and Twitter, social network services may
usurp e-mail as the main method for communications among 20 percent of all
business workers, one of five social software predictions issued
by Gartner analysts Feb. 2.
Gartner's Matt Cain said the rigid distinction between e-mail and social
networks will erode by 2014, paving the way for social network services as the
main vehicle for communication among colleagues in a fifth of knowledge
College-age users from the digital generation are growing up using Facebook
and Twitter, which account for more than 400 million users combined worldwide.
Many of those users continue to use these services to communicate with
colleagues once they enter the workforce, whether their IT managers know it or
Indeed, social networking will prove more effective than e-mail for status
updates and expertise location, so companies will be building out internal
social networks and/or allowing business use of personal social network
accounts. In fact, e-mail itself is getting increasingly social, thanks to free
plug-ins such as Xobni
and other technologies that inject connections from Facebook
and LinkedIn into Microsoft Outlook and Gmail accounts.
"While e-mail is already almost fully penetrated in the corporate
space, we expect to see steep growth rates for sales of premises- and
cloud-based social networking services," Cain said.
This bodes well for the burgeoning segment of enterprise-grade social
network platforms from the likes of IBM,
Microsoft, Cisco, and startups such as Jive Software
and Socialtext, as well as microblogging tool
A word of caution for the stand-alone microblogging tool providers: You may
want to consider differentiating and building out your services, if not selling
them outright to the larger companies who need to fill holes in their
portfolios. Gartner predicted that while more than 50 percent of enterprises
will use activity streams that include microblogging by 2012, stand-alone
enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration.
"It will be very difficult for microblogging as a stand-alone function
to achieve widespread adoption within the enterprise. Twitter's scale is one of
the reasons for its popularity," said Gartner's Jeffrey Mann.