I D C
A N A L Y S T
C O N N E C T I O N
Research Manager, Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative
Social Collaboration in Business
Leveraging social technologies and particularly social workflow is a core part of how organizations today
can manage the transition to a new way of working or usher in a more holistic cultural change. Social
workflow enables an employee's relationship with the organization and other employees to transcend
traditional relationships inside the company. A focal point of workspace change is the ability to use
social business tools to engage end users. Enterprise social networks provide enhanced social
collaboration capabilities to users who are either inside or outside an organization's firewall. Historical
functionality commonly offered in solutions includes, but is not limited to, activity streams, blogs,
communities, discussion forums, and groups (public or private). However, a next-generation solution is
emerging that weaves together these historical components with lightweight project management,
knowledge management, and personal productivity features into a single experience for an end user.
The following questions were posed by Deltek to Vanessa Thompson, research manager for IDC's
Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative Technologies program, on behalf of Deltek's customers.
What is "social collaboration," and how does it apply to business environments?
Today, businesses are under tremendous pressure to find new ways of operating that move
away from outdated models and take advantage of new technologies and leverage the skills of
an increasingly technology-savvy workforce. Across the business, connectivity and the social
Web are creating opportunities to apply new technologies and techniques to operations that
have the potential to drastically change business, leading to a more social business.
Social collaboration has emerged as a way to meet these opportunities and connect people
to people and people to information so that they can make more informed, collaborative, and
near-real-time decisions. The current business environment could include email, instant
messaging and presence, file-sharing, and team collaboration tools that have team sites or
workspaces and/or an existing unified communication infrastructure.
Ultimately, social collaboration will be embedded in enterprise business applications and
productivity applications, enabling conversations to be surfaced from where users are doing
their work so that problems can be resolved and the collective wisdom of a group or team
can be unlocked, leading to better group decisions that positively impact the business.