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Social Business/Collaboration Systems Adoption High with Good ROI


February, 2017

The adoption rate for social business/collaboration tools continues to be high, and businesses are finding good returns on investment compared to the 11 other technologies in our full Technology Trends 2017 study.

Figure 1 from our full report, Social Business/Collaboration Systems Adoption Trends and Customer Experience, shows that, along with the high adoption rate, return on investment and total cost of ownership success is very high.


Examples of social business systems include intranets; forums; message boards; document and file-sharing tools; blogs; activity streams and news feeds; video/web conferencing systems; and other types of collaboration tools. How are social business tools different from other enterprise applications? While traditional information systems, such as ERP, CRM, and HCM track the activities that take place “in the boxes” of a process flowchart, social business/collaboration systems focus on the activities that take place on the lines between the boxes.

For example, a typical CRM process includes formal steps such as “opportunity identified,” “opportunity qualified,” “proposal delivered,” and “sale won” (or “sale lost”). Traditional CRM systems do a good job of recording the data collected at each step. But a sales process includes all kinds of communication and activities between those steps, as the sales team develops the opportunity, drafts the proposal, and closes the deal. Those activities are typically conducted through phone calls, meetings, email messages, and a variety of informal and ad-hoc records. They are supported by workers’ personal knowledge, personal networking, and informal conversations.

“Social business can often be frustrating for IT departments, because of its consumer nature.” said David Wagner, vice president for research at Computer Economics, an IT research firm based in Irvine, Calif., “Users often want the social systems that match what they are using at home even if those systems don’t meet the necessary security, privacy, and data capture requirements. To successfully deploy these systems, you have to engage users from the beginning.”

The full report quantifies the current adoption and investment trends for social business technology as well as the benefits driving companies to expand their social business implementations. We also measure customer experience in terms of the success rates for return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of social business initiatives as well as listing potential future investment areas for the technology.


This Research Byte is based on our report on this subject, Social Business/Collaboration Systems Adoption Trends and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).

Questions about this research? Contact the Analyst.


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