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Oscar Berg is a senior consultant, working with strategy, business analysis, and architecture within Enterprise Collaboration. Oscar has been writing about how to use social technologies for business purposes on his blog The Content Economy since 2007, and since 2011 as contributing author for CMS Wire. Oscar is passionate about creating solutions that make work and life simpler for people. He has been a frequent speaker at various intranet conferences in the Nordic countries, and at European conferences such as the Enterprise 2.0 Summit, Social Business Forum in Milan, and Social Now in Portugal. Oscar is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 45 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

The most interesting studies on Social Business from 2012

01.25.2013
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Looking back at 2012, there have been quite a few interesting studies directly or indirectly related to Social Business. I have selected the studies that I have found most interesting, highlighting some of the key findings from each study. Taken together, I believe they provide a pretty good picture of the current state of Social Business. Enjoy!

The Digital Advantage
by Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business

During three years Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business have studied how digitally mature companies (see report for definition) perform in comparison to those who are less to embrace new digital innovations. Key findings include:
  • Digitally mature companies generate more revenue and are up to 26% more profitable than their industry competitors. This is also reflected in a higher market value.
  • No industry is immune from digital transformation, and every company in every industry has some competitors that can be considered ad digitally mature

The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies
by McKinsey Global Institute

Besides highlighting the potential in using social technologies to reach consumers in new ways, this research by McKinsey Global Institute reveals there is twice as much potential value in “using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises”. Key findings include:
  • Using social technologies to enhance internal communication and collaboration could increase the productivity of knowledge workers with as much as 25%.
  • The annual value that could be unlocked by social technologies in four sectors lies somewhere between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion.

The Business of Social Business: What Works and How It′s Done
by The IBM Institute for Business Value 

The IBM Insitutite for Business Value surveyed more than 1,100 executives worldwide and conducted in-depth interviews with 26 companies that are recognized as leaders in social business. Key findings include:
  • 46% increased their investments in social business in 2012 and 62% intend to increase their investments during the next two years
  • 67% of the companies are applying social business within their marketing and 54% within public relations function
  • Customer service and sales are two areas where social business adoption is expected to grow most rapidly

Engagement @ Scale in The Large Enterprise
by Social Business Council / Dachis Group

The Social Business Council asked the question ”How far along are the leading early adopters” in terms of introducing social collaboration software and embracing new ways of communicating and collaborating. The study that surveyed only very large enterprises with more than one billion USD in annual revenue. Key findings include:
  • 57% of the companies reported that only 10-20% of their eligible workforce is active on their social collaboration platform.
  • Only 4% of the companies had already integrated external and internal social business initiatives. 
  • 51% lacked both existing integration and plans for such integration.

2012 State of the Social Intranet Study
by Prescient Digital Media

In late November, Toby Ward from Prescient Digital Media published some preliminary findings of their 2012 State of the Social Intranet Study, revealing that ”executives are not happy with their enterprise social media (intranet 2.0):
  • 37% of executives rate their social intranets as poor or very poor while 17% rate their social intranets as good or very good 
  • 39% of employees rate their social intranets as poor or very poor while 21% rate their social intranets as good or very good 

What Do Corporate Directors and Senior Managers Know about Social Media?
by Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance

This study surveyed more than 180 senior executives and corporate directors of North American public and private companies, revealing “a disconnect between companies’ understanding of social media and the actions they are taking to apply it to their business”. The study found that although companies understand that social media can be used to improve many aspects of their business, they also realize there are risks associated with it – so they typically prefer to maintain status quo (do nothing).

The State of Enterprise Social Software Adoption in 2012 (Paid)
by International Data Corporation (IDC)

IDC found that the focus of social business is shifting, as well as the use cases. Key findings include:
  • Use cases have grown into customer experience, sales enablement, digital commerce, enterprise social network (ESN), innovation management, and socialytics.
  • In 2012, 67% of companies surveyed have deployed corporate-sponsored enterprise social software
  • The level of autonomy an employee has on how they manage individual task and business workflow has increased.

The Economics of A Fully Engaged Enterprise
by PulsePoint Group in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit 

This study provides evidence that there lies real economic value in social engagement:
  • 32% of senior executives report that an unclear strategy for change is a roadblock for social business adoption.
  • Companies that fully embrace social engagement are experiencing four times greater business impact than less engaged companies
  • The average return on social engagement was calculated to be between 3-5%. The most engaged businesses are reporting a calculated 7.7% business impact.
  • The lowest performers achieved a 1.9% estimated return.Two thirds of the organizations achieving the highest returns reported that their C-suites are active advocates of social engagement.


The 2012 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project
by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte 

3,478 managers from companies in 115 countries and 24 industries were surveyed as MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte tried to answer the following questions: Will social networking and social software have a similarly transformative effect on business? Are they already doing so? What kinds of enterprises are benefiting the most? And how are they benefiting? Here are some of their key findings:

  • 52% of the respondents believe that social business is important or somewhat important to their business today. 
  • 86% of believe social business will be important or somewhat important in three years. 
  • Social business is viewed most often as a tool for external-facing activities.
  • Some leaders are enthusiastic, but lack metrics to prove value.

Social Media Around the World 2012
by InSites Consulting

Rounding up this collection of studies is one that provides lots of facts and figures and some interesting insights on the status of social media in 19 countries, such as the following:
  • The large majority of consumers would like to help brands and companies they like. 
  • About 80% of all internet users are open to being involved in any form of collaboration with a brand. 
  • Half of the consumers would even like to be involved in developing the overall strategy of the brand. 
  • 45% are willing to help in creating the next advertising campaign.
Published at DZone with permission of Oscar Berg, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)