In the wake of Facebook and Twitter's massive cultural impact, social networking has found its way into the business world, providing new avenues for corporate communication and collaboration.
Called "enterprise social networking," (ESN) many companies have adopted social software that provide employees with the option of communicating by making profiles, microblogging and creating status updates.
However, according to a recent study by research-based advisory firm Altimeter Group, many business officials are adopting social software for the wrong reasons or not using it in a way that increases performance or productivity.
After surveying 185 end users of the technology and 81 IT officials, the study found that ESN was rarely integrated properly into existing business applications, generating a lack of employee enthusiasm.
Moreover, the study found that most business users could only identify whether employees engaged with the software, and not whether its use was allowing staff to achieve corporate goals with superior efficiency.
"What is the pain point? What is the problem you're trying to solve?" posed Charlene Li, Altimeter's founder. "If that's not clear, then you shouldn't be using [ESN]. This isn't easy. There is no magic bullet to it. It requires a rethinking of the relationships inside your organization, and therefore a rethinking of your culture."
Consequently, business officials in Ohio looking to make more substantive gains from ESN would benefit from consulting with a Columbus IT partner that can provide technology assessment and planning. These professionals can analyze a company's infrastructure to make an educated assessment regarding communications technology that will serve the company's current and future needs.
Business officials will thus be left with a better understanding of whether adopting ESN – or any other communication tools – will be a wasteful use of funds or indeed a way to enhance business communication.