Both large and small enterprises are using social tools like intranet, video conferencing and social networks which are leading to very different selling motions and partner opportunities, as per a recent study by Microsoft.
The study, conducted by the research firm Ipsos among nearly 10,000 end users at SMBs and large companies in 32 countries, found that, in addition to using solutions such as intranets and instant messaging services, SMBs are more likely to utilize multiple external social tools for professional purposes. Large companies, on the other hand, are more likely to deploy fewer, more prevalent collaboration tools.
Giving his insights on survey, Ramkumar Pichai, GM – Microsoft Office Division at Microsoft said in an official statement, “Social collaboration technologies represent a growing opportunity for both large companies and SMBs to fully realize the benefits of cloud computing through and all-inclusive approach to productivity. The new Office is more social than ever. With SharePoint, Lync and Yammer, Microsoft alone has the expertise, portfolio, capabilities, vision and insight to make the future for workplace collaboration a reality.”
Although the top use for social tools in both large companies and SMBs is communicating with colleagues (selected by seven in 10 of all end users surveyed), those at smaller companies use social tools for a broader range of tasks, including communicating with customers, clients or vendors and researching customers, clients and competitors. In contrast, end users at large companies are more likely to use social tools for finding an expert of information within their company.
Barriers to adoption of social tools still exist across large companies and SMBs with security concerns being the top reason for employers to restrict the use of social tools. 71 percent of employees at large companies and 60 percent of SMB employees say these restrictions are in place because of security concerns while productivity losses (58 percent at large companies vs. 59 percent at SMBs) were identified as the top risks.
End users at large companies are more likely to say their IT department can be a barrier to using social tools (41 percent at large companies vs. 36 percent at SMBs). Those at large companies are also more likely to say social tools are restricted at their workplace because of concerns about the company image (27 percent vs. 21 percent at SMBs) or data loss (25 percent at large companies vs. 22 at SMBs).
The survey revealed that top tools to be restricted by both groups are external social network 34 percent of large companies restrict vs 25 percent of smaller companies, Microblogging (33 percent versus 24 percent, Internal social networks (27 percent versus 21 percent), Blogging platforms (26 percent versus 19 percent). Further the report touts that besides few barriers there is an immense rise in overall demand and huge opportunity for social tools. Nearly 50 percent of employees at both SMBs and large companies indicated that using enterprise social tools has increased their productivity (49 percent of SMBs and 45 percent of large companies). 39 percent of employees at SMBs and 36 percent of employees at large companies say they could do their jobs better if management was more supportive of the use of social tools. 34 percent of employees at SMBs and 30 percent of employees at large companies say they would be willing to spend their own money on enterprise social tools.
Rebecca Sizelove, associate vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs said, “The consumerization of IT has changed the fundamental way in which businesses communicate, with enterprise social tools now following a ‘bring your own device’ model into the workplace,” said “However, there are distinct differences between how SMBs and large companies adopt these tools, and technology decision-makers still require a certain amount of education around the benefits social tools can provide. This creates opportunities for technology vendors to educate and sell to businesses of all sizes.”
A recent PwC’s Digital IQ Survey also said that India Inc. is investing heavily in social networks, mobile computing, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC). Also, a survey by Microsoft in May this year stated that Indian workers tend to use more social tools at work than workers in most other countries.