Study: Social collaboration leads to more business success

Many companies have operated for years with very little interaction between their executives, sales, marketing and IT departments. However, if a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study is any indication, such a separation of powers actually reduces business success

“Because enterprise responsibility lives across the C-suite for these issues, collaborative digital conversations are critical to bring it all together and evaluate and adopt these technologies,” said Chris Curran, PwC’s principal and chief technologist for the U.S. firm’s advisory practice.

According to the report, strong collaboration across the workplace can lead to benefits such as 100 percent delivery rates for IT initiatives and overall revenue bumps of more than 25 percent. But many companies are limited in the ways they can promote social enterprise. A separate Ventana Research study, for example, revealed that less than 20 percent of decision-makers are confident in their ability to use existing social collaboration tools

BI can help
In a recent blog post for SmartData Collective, Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer of Ventana Research, wrote that business and social collaboration tools are ranked the second-highest business intelligence (BI) priority for 2013.

Currently, many organizations are using social enterprise tools like shared folders/documents (cited by 86 percent of respondents), wall posting (45 percent) and social recognition (41 percent). However, the problem is that many companies have isolated these programs from one another, as opposed to using them collaboratively, cited by 49 percent of respondents.

According to a recent TechTarget article, integrating these tools will be the key to achieving a social enterprise. The news source suggested that the best results of social deployment would result in every enterprise application and piece of data woven into the same system.

In addition to improved accessibility, this would allow companies to incorporate information into their analytics programs. As the Ventana Research study revealed, business analytics is the top priority for organizations in 2013.

If implementing and integrating these new technologies is the first step, training workers on how to use them should immediately come next.

“If you want to change the way people work, you have to educate employees and get them to understand that change. You can’t just give them a fancy new tool and say, ‘Here, go use it,'” Steve Weissman founder of the Holly Group, told TechTarget. Instead, social enterprise tools would benefit significantly if they are implemented in conjunction with an “intelligence layer,” according to the source.

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