As Social Business Adoption and Maturity Escalates, New IDC Research Highlights the Value of Extending Internal Social Initiatives Beyond the Company Firewall

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., September 12, 2012 – The fourth annual Social Business Survey from International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed a marked departure from previous years in terms of focus and use cases for social business. With the maturing of social business as a customer and engagement channel, use cases have grown into some broad categories, namely customer experience, sales enablement, digital commerce, enterprise social network (ESN), innovation management, and socialytics. As users request solutions to extend outside the firewall, the 2012 survey shows that security (84%) and privacy (81%) are the top two important functionalities identified by companies.

"As enterprise social software grows into enterprise social networks (ESNs), solution functionalities like profiles, activity streams, and blogs have quickly become assumed," says Vanessa Thompson, research manager for IDC's Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative Technologies. "The marked shift in the buying behavior of solutions in 2012 highlights the need for solutions to extend outside the company firewall and include customers, partners, and suppliers in the feedback and business workflow processes."

Additional key survey findings include:

§ In 2012, 67% of companies surveyed have deployed corporate-sponsored enterprise social software, noting that the level of autonomy an employee has on how they manage individual task and business workflow has increased.

§ In 2011, the top response to why organizations were using social media, networking, or community initiatives for business purposes was to acquire knowledge and ask questions. This dropped dramatically in 2012, replaced with the notion of customer feedback and engaging all constituents into the feedback process to support and add value to the innovation process.

§ Survey respondents highlighted competitive pricing (87%), minimal performance downtime and latency (85%), and meeting expectations with regard to solution updates or upgrades (85%) to be the most important characteristics of solutions.

The IDC study, The State of Enterprise Social Software Adoption 2012 (IDC #236637) is the result of the fourth annual Social Business Survey, which polled 700 senior executive-level decision makers in the United States, on their current and future technology and business plans, perceptions, and experiences related to the use of social media/networking for business purposes and corporate sponsored enterprise social software.

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