Summary:

Following the success of Facebook and Twitter in the consumer space, over the past couple of years we’ve seen a wave of enterprise social networking tools hoping to capture similar successes in the enterprise market. But how are these tools shaping the businesses that use them?

Better tools for big data.

Following on from the massive success of social apps like Facebook and Twitter in the consumer space, over the past couple of years we’ve seen a new wave of social networking tools, such as Yammertibbrpresent.ly, Socialtext and Salesforce.com’s Chatter hoping to capture similar successes in the enterprise market. These tools are attractive to businesses looking for new, more efficient ways to communicate and capture knowledge and offer potentially great benefits: the ability to break down information silos and to flatten traditional organizational structures by stripping out management layers. But in reality, will these new enterprise social tools reduce hierarchy, or will they just provide a way for employees to “goof off” during work hours? To find out, I decided to speak with some organizations that have implemented and being using enterprise social networking software for a while, including Deloitte Australia, the American Automobile Association, and the American Hospital Association, about the tools they use and the impact they’ve had on the organizations themselves, and I’ve detailed my findings  in Measuring the effects of social tools in the enterprise over on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

All  of the companies I spoke to reported similar benefits from their adoption of social tools:

  • Breaking down silos
  • Connecting like-minded individuals
  • Reduced need for meetings
  • Leadership access and buy-in

Given the benefits reported, and generally positive senior management sentiment towards these tools, I think we’ll see much more widespread adoption in a short space of time.

To get the complete detail on how social tools are transforming the companies that use them, the benefits the companies reported, and patterns of adoption, check out the full article over on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Photo courtesy Flickr user prettydreamer.workshop

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