Social Business and the IT Professional
BackBy CompTIADowners Grove, Ill. — April 9
Businesses can improve communications, recruiting, customer relationships and other processes by expanding their social engagement beyond well-known public sites, according to recent research by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry.
“Social media and social networking are widely recognized terms associated with large public sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “But these terms do not fully convey the full range of social applications available to businesses.”
For businesses, the social space can be divided into two categories: public social media sites and social enterprise tools that bring social capabilities into an organization’s business processes.
For the large majority of organizations, the move to the social enterprise is in its infancy — if it has even started at all, Robinson said. Companies may also struggle through several trial-and-error scenarios as they meld new social tools with existing communications platforms and operational processes.
The CompTIA survey of 400 business and IT executives finds that the large majority of firms now using social tools are taking their first steps by using social media. A full 82 percent of responding organizations have a Facebook presence; 68 percent have a Twitter profile; and 68 percent have a LinkedIn page. By comparison, less than one in five companies are using social enterprise tools.
“Confusion over terminology and hesitation to adopt a consumer-driven development inside the enterprise make the social landscape one that still requires definition and justification for many companies,” said Robinson. “Understanding the characteristics of social technologies is a critical starting point for understanding their business use.”
Robinson noted that while the marketing staff has been the primary owner of social activity to this point, IT departments will play a critical role in the further development of the social enterprise. IT departments may craft strategies, develop policies, build the overall social platform, select the appropriate social tools and integrate them into the enterprise environment.
The social enterprise may also offer opportunities for IT service providers — even at this early stage. In fact, 10 percent of companies surveyed by CompTIA said their service provider owns their social activity; and another 38 percent have consulted with a service provider on social topics.
CompTIA’s “Social Business: Trends and Opportunities” study is based on a January 2012 online survey of 400 IT and business professionals in a variety of industries in the United States.
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