The rapid adoption of technology-based social networking has been transforming politics and social norms on a global scale for the past decade. Will social networking and social software have a similarly transformative effect on business? Are they already doing so? What kinds of enterprises are benefiting the most? And how are they benefiting?
To answer these questions, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte1 conducted a survey of managers from companies in 115 countries and 24 industries. We had 3,478 respondents to our questionnaire. They represented a wide range of management roles (from coordinators to board directors), functional areas and business sizes.
We supplemented the analysis of our survey results with interviews with thought leaders and business executives, as well as a review of recent research on social business. Our in-depth interviews included conversations with senior managers from companies at the cutting edge of social business practice, including McDonald’s, IBM, Salesforce.com, SAP and Yammer.
Although enterprises have only just begun to embrace social business, many leaders — especially in the media and technology industries — are enthusiastic about its value. Others are more cautious but recognize its potential a few years out.