Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Business Report

Social Networks a Coming Trend at Work

Companies are spending more on social and collaboration software, as new tools compete for workers’ attention.

Industry research shows that the market for collaboration software used by corporations—commonly called Enterprise 2.0 technology—is growing, despite the sluggish economy. Gartner, an information technology industry analyst group, began tracking revenue growth of social business software in 2009. Gartner predicts the market for enterprise social software technologies will continue to grow from $664 million in 2010 to $1.3 billion in 2014.

As the popularity of social collaboration software grows, companies are sorting out which tools are most useful. A 2010 Gartner survey of 416 U.S.-based IT professionals shows that e-mail remains the favored  communication tool in the office. However, these same IT professionals are betting that collaboration tools will burrow a niche in daily business operations. 

Forrester Research, in a survey of 934 North American and European collaboration and software decision makers, found that many professionals planned to buy “team workplaces,” or tools that share data, documents, and calendars among workers online, while allowing users to track changes to shared content.

Professionals also planned to implement more Web 2.0 tools—wikis and microblogs, for example—in business. However, IT professionals were less likely to want “unified communications,” which allow employees to check each other’s availability, in real time, on shared calendars, and then choose between voice, video, e-mail, or instant messaging to initiate conversations.

Gartner’s revenue analysis shows that North American businesses are more likely to adopt social business software than businesses in other regions. In 2009, North America accounted for 60 to 65 percent of enterprise social business software revenues. Europe and Asia made up 25 percent and 10 percent of revenues, respectively.

The AI revolution is here. Will you lead or follow?
Join us at EmTech Digital 2019.

Register now
Next in this Business Report
Collaboration Tools

Powerful software and widespread Internet connectivity are making it easier than ever for people to work together no matter where they happen to be. Throughout March in Business Impact, Technology Review will look at the latest tools for collaboration within and between organizations. We’ll analyze why some technology-enabled collaborations work and why others don’t. We’ll explain why some collaboration tools have failed to prove useful to the employees meant to benefit from them. We’ll present case studies, profiles, and interviews that help you understand how to make the people in your organization more collaborative—and more productive.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.