Forrester has released a useful report, The Enterprise 2.0 User Profile: 2011, by TJ Keitt with Matthew Brown, Rob Koplowitz, and Heather Martyn. In their recent survey of 4,985 US information workers, they found that we’re still at a very stage in social software use in business. The employees currently using social business software are early adopters with high incomes and positive attitudes about technology. They are also mostly testing the waters at this point. This is certainly a different story than the vendors present.
Going back to 2004, I have heard many stories about what became to be known as enterprise 2.0. For example, see what Al Essa did at MIT - An Enterprise 2.0 Poster Child in the IT Department). It was one of my awakenings to the power of social media in the enterprise. Granted he was an early adopter as the CIO at the Sloan School at MIT but the issues he faced and addressed through a blog was similar to that of many IT departments.
However, are these examples not spreading? Forrester found that currently, 28% of workers use social software at least monthly in their sample. There workers have higher incomes, are more than likely to be optimistic about the role of technology in business. The results also indicate that 23% of enterprise social media users hold advanced degrees, and 49% are in management. They also found that their responsibilities “lengthen the workday, as social software users work, on average, 2.41 hours longer than other employees during the workweek. They also spend 1.95 more hours, on average, working outside business hours than the rest of the workforce.”
At the same time these enterprise social media users consider themselves more productive than non-users. They also “view enterprise 2.0 technologies as the most efficient means of doing certain things.” At the same time, just 22% of social software users tell us the technologies are vital to their jobs. Forrester concludes, “that despite the uptick in interest in and deployment of enterprise 2.0 tools, they remain on the periphery of an information worker’s workflow.” I have written about this before - see Putting Social Media to Work. These results show that enterprise social media needs to be further integrated into the workflow to be relevant and effective. It is not about Facebook for the enterprise but making business processes more social and collaborative.