Best-practice predictions for social software

Posted by: in Social Media Insights & Trends on February 2, 2010

One of the challenging aspects of understanding the role of social media in the communication mix is how it may develop in future in organizational use.

How will a tool like Twitter evolve, for instance? What will Facebook,LinkedIn, Xing and other online social networking services look like in five years time? And what about lifestreaming and social graphs – where will these informal concepts sit within the organization?

Among the many social media predictions for 2010 and further out, a few stand out and give you pause for thought and consideration.

I discovered another one, announced today by IT industry analysts Gartner Group, that present further scope to the forward-looking social media landscape and opportunities.

Gartner’s views are an opportunity to consider how the social software and employee collaboration landscape might develop from a best practice viewpoint  during the next five years.

And here are the headlines according to Gartner: five best-practice predictions for social software:

  1. By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.
  2. By 2012, over 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging, but stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration.
  3. Through 2012, over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail.
  4. Within five years, 70 percent of collaboration and communications applications designed on PCs will be modeled after user experience lessons from smartphone collaboration applications.
  5. Through 2015, only 25 percent of enterprises will routinely utilize social network analysis to improve performance and productivity.

Detailed opinion from Gartner to each headline point is in their press release.

The first prediction, about email being replaced by social networking services as a primary means of interpersonal communication, might raise some eyebrows. Yet is it far fetched? The ways communication technologies are developing so rapidly, and how behaviours in society generally and in the workplace in particular are changing with equal speed, we might be surprised.

‘Microblogging’ typically means Twitter (or equivalents behind the corporate firewall like Yammer). I’d agree with Gartner’s second headline: activity streams rather than stand-alone tweeting look far likely to capture corporate imaginations.

How do the next five years look to you?

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