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Almost all of the business leaders we interviewed describe their social business efforts in terms of “infancy” or “just beginning” or “early days.” Those with sophisticated social networks, including IBM and SAP, stressed that these have taken years to develop. Mark Yolton, senior vice president of SAP communities and social media, told us that SAP has taken nearly a decade to refine its developer network, and they are still improving upon it. IBM has been developing its enterprise-wide social network for at least 15 years.
The importance of social business to organizations is expected to grow over the next few years. While just 18% of all survey respondents believe social business is important to their organization today, 63% say it will be important in three years. That’s a jump of 250%. (See Figure 1.)