Greater availability of social-networking-services, coupled with changing demographics and work styles, will lead 20 percent of employees to use social networks as their business communications’ hub by 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. Analysts said that this is one of a wide range of capabilities that have emerged in communications, social Web and mobile, enabling richer interactions among people and expanding collaboration to a broader level.
While microblogging is reshaping enterprise communications, business communications are evolving. Newer employees will enter the workforce with a predisposition to communicate via a social network, but they will use e-mail in parallel -- optimizing the business need with the communication modality.
Vendors such as Microsoft and IBM will add links to internal and external social networks from within e-mail clients and servers, making services such as contacts, calendars and tasks shareable across e-mail and social networks. By 2012, Gartner said contact lists, calendars and messaging clients in any smartphones will be social-enabled applications.
Collaboration is slowly moving to the cloud, and Gartner analysts expect to see steep growth rates for sales of premises- and cloud-based social networking services. Organizations will deploy hybrid models where some services live on-premises and some are in the cloud. Gartner predicts that the percentage of e-mail accounts on cloud services will grow to 10 percent by year-end 2012, up 7 percent from 2009.
From a vendor’s perspective, the market is consolidating around Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM), the two market leaders. Gartner forecasts that by 2012, RIM and Microsoft will own 80 percent of the enterprise wireless e-mail software market.
More information on social media can be found at www.CRMindustry.com.