Businesses reluctant to embrace social networking

Results from the second annual Intranet DASHBOARD (iD) Global Intranet Benchmarking Survey indicate that businesses are reluctant to embrace social networking and Web 2.0 functionality in the workplace.

This year, iD surveyed 455 intranet users globally to assess trends in internal communication, social networking and Web 2.0 use in the workplace.

Of the global respondents, only 32% indicated that management supported social networking strategies in the workplace, a significant drop in popularity compared with last year’s result of 42%.

In 2008, 30% of respondents indicated no interest at all in social networking as an internal communication tool compared with 25% in 2007.

Adoption of instant messaging has dropped 13%, which has fallen from 49% to 36%. The only Web 2.0 collaboration application that has increased in its adoption is the use of corporate blogs, up 6% from 39% in 2007 to 45% this year. Other functionality that increased in popularity since 2007 includes news search and wikis.

The survey demonstrates that Web 2.0 applications have not proven their worth to CEOs and management. This underscores similar findings in the CIO Insight May 2008 survey.

Connie Pandos, founder and director of Intranet DASHBOARD, said: “There is a fear that Web 2.0 collaborative tools are often misused or abused by staff for personal rather than business use. Environments such as Facebook offer functionality that can distract staff from their work and this is clear in the evidence that many organisations are banning access to such web sites.

“However Web 2.0 functionality that deliver tangible benefits to the user, improve business efficiencies and increase productivity are proving to be increasingly popular in an intranet,” Pandos added. “Intranet DASHBOARD enables Web 2.0 functionality to be delivered within a framework that meets the strategic objectives of the business and is centrally controlled and governed without interfering with the inherent grass-roots nature of the medium,” she said.

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