Research: 2013 Enterprise Social Networking Survey

Feb 25, 2013


Enterprise Social Networking Is Dead; Long Live Social Technology

The term "enterprise social networking" is dead. It needs to be relegated to the technology scrap heap, right next to "internal email," "corporate IM," "private Internet access" and "Windows Vista." Chalk up another casualty of the Web. At least we can cut our losses and not have another debacle like e-commerce.

What do we mean? In the late '90s, when e-commerce dominated the hype cycle, a few forward-looking brick-and-mortar retailers understood that this wasn't a boutique niche and went about integration in a serious way, but they were the exception. Most sales teams wouldn't touch it. If an e-commerce program was started, the "owner" ended up being IT or marketing. Some companies even built completely separate, parallel business units. So how did that work out? Not well, as we'll discuss. And clearly, we're not all that good at learning from history, if mobile commerce programs are any indication. But we digress.

For our InformationWeek 2013 Social Networking in the Enterprise Survey, we decided to contrast how IT sees these initiatives versus the reality for the rank and file. Our 451 respondents break down at 286 IT and 165 non-IT professionals. We also tossed respondents from organizations with fewer than 50 employees, to keep from skewing results toward small, informal projects. We ended up with a nice spread: 36% from companies with 50 to 1,000 employees, 29% with 10,000 or more, and the remaining 35% in the midsize bucket.

The lessons revealed by our data: IT is largely blind to the fatal flaw in enterprise social networking, business units are doing end runs and social is a core part of how the world communicates. (R6290213)

Survey Name  InformationWeek 2013 Social Networking in the Enterprise Survey
Survey Date  December 2012
Region  North America
Number of Respondents  451
Purpose  To explore the use of social networking tools and technologies in the ­enterprise.

Research Report