Distinction Between Email And Social Networks Eroding

Social Networks set to have bigger role in the workplace

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The popularity of social networking services, along with changing demographics and work styles, will lead 20 percent of employees to use social networks as a main business communication tool by 2014, according to a new report from Gartner.

Monica-Basso With Facebook expected to launch its own email service on Monday, analysts at Gartner seem to be right on target.

“In the past, organizations supported collaboration through e-mail and highly structured applications only,” said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner.

“Today, social paradigms are converging with e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and presence, creating new collaboration styles. However, a truly collaborative, effective and efficient workplace will not arise until organizations make these capabilities widely available and users become more comfortable with them. Technology is only an enabler; culture is a must for success.”

While microblogging is reshaping enterprise communications, business communications are evolving. Newer employees will enter the workforce with a predisposition to communicate via a social network, but they will use e-mail in parallel.

“The rigid distinction between e-mail and social networks will erode,” Ms. Basso said. “E-mail will take on many social attributes, such as contact brokering, while social networks will develop richer e-mail capabilities.”

Vendors such as Microsoft and IBM will add links to internal and external social networks from within e-mail clients and servers, making services such as contacts, calendars and tasks shareable across e-mail and social networks. By 2012, Gartner said contact lists, calendars and messaging clients in any smartphones will be social-enabled applications.

Collaboration is slowly moving to the cloud, and Gartner analysts expect to see steep growth rates for sales of premises- and cloud-based social networking services. Organizations will use hybrid models where some services live on-premises and some are in the cloud. Gartner predicts that the percentage of e-mail accounts on cloud services will grow to 10 percent by year-end 2012, up 7 percent from 2009.

From a vendor’s perspective, the market is consolidating around Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM), the two market leaders. Gartner forecasts that by 2012, RIM and Microsoft will own 80 percent of the enterprise wireless e-mail software market.

“The reality is that mobile collaboration will increase for all categories of workers, and organizations can either take the lead, or be led by their users,” said Ms. Basso.

“The most progressive organizations won’t be afraid to explore the innovative communications and collaboration models enabled by new devices and social services allow their employees to generate innovative ideas by experimenting with them.”


Distinction Between Email And Social Networks Eroding
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  • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ James

    I agree… A message is a message, whether it is an HTML formatted Email message, or whether it is Tweet, or even a Post on a FB wall, although that stretches things a bit.

    It’s a way to push information to people, as opposed to having it sit in one spot for people to find or search for. Even then, it’s still a message. I think there is an overwhelming lack of clarity with what those messages as a whole say.

    In addition, for the smaller brands, it doesn’t take much for an near identical brand to open up shop right next to you with and hijack your brand, with intent or unintentionally.

    • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ James

      So just to provide a solution, I don’t think it’s wise for the smaller brands to stretch themselves too thin, especially if it takes them off their focus, and especially because there is indeed spam in each each network, security problems, and attention that needs to be paid to it.

  • http://businessandsocialmedia.com Huck Huckabee

    I build websites for small businesses and help them use social media. Many of my customers are getting inundated with email. And much of it is not necessarily spam, but it is still unwanted promotion from industry contacts. It takes up a lot of time to filter their email. I see more and more predictions that Facebook and other “approved contact” services will replace email in the future.

  • Guest

    It seems like it may slowly move to email/social converging. Interesting topic!

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