Aussie organisations rate social collaboration platforms as top IT investment: Report

New survey from Avanade and Vanson Bourne finds Australian organisations will allocate 11 per cent of IT budgets to social networking in the next year

Australian organisations are increasingly turning to social networking for collaboration and plan to allocate 11 per cent of IT budgets to social networking in the next year, a new report has found.

The The State of Enterprise Social Collaborationsurvey, which was sponsored by Microsoft services partner, Avanade and conducted by market research firm, Vanson Bourne, canvassed 1000 c-level executives of businesses with over 1000 staff, along with 4000 end users in organisations with more than 500 employees across 22 countries. The results included responses from 90 c-level Australian executives and 250 local end users.

Avanade and Vanson Bourne found 74 per cent of decision-makers and 58 per cent of users are currently using social networking technologies at work, with a major preference for consumer-oriented platforms over enterprise-grade solutions. Seventy-six per cent are using Facebook for collaboration – twice the number using Microsoft SharePoint (40 per cent), the next most popular platform. IBM’s Open Connections meanwhile is used by 15 per cent of respondents, and Salesforce Chatter by the same number.

Both business leaders and their employees reported positive outcomes off the back of social collaboration technologies, and 60 per cent say their jobs are more enjoyable as a result. Just over half also claimed these technologies made them feel more productive, and 54 per cent believed they could get work done faster using social platforms. Seventy-eight per cent of those using social collaboration want to use more of them in future.

In addition, 31 per cent of respondents rated collaboration as one of the top IT focus areas for their organisation.

Of the 26 per cent not using social media technologies today, top barrier included lack of training, inadequate IT resources and a lack of support from senior management.

“In today’s global work environment, collaboration tools are becoming a key aspect of day-to-day interactions in the workplace and the consumerisation of IT has only driven this trend further,”Avanade country manager, Jeyan Jeevaratnam, commented.

“It is critical that businesses recognise the importance of incorporating social technology tools that align with both the goals of the business and the needs of the end users and that they provide training and policies to support adoption throughout the workplace.”

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