McKinsey just released some more research on the use of social and collaborative technologies within the enterprise. Not surprisingly they found that adoption levels are continuing to climb and are almost double what they were in 2009. The more important finding from the research they conducted was that organizations are moving beyond the experimentation phase with many of these tools and into more mainstream applications and deployments.
Although most of the executive respondents reported seeing benefits from deploying these tools, the research shows that these benefits have achieved a plateau. According to McKinsey:
Executives are optimistic but sober about the next leg of the social-technology pathway: they expect increases in employee productivity but also recognize the significant organizational barriers that prevent their companies from capturing the full potential of social tools. They also acknowledge the new open environment’s risks, including possible leaks of confidential information and intellectual property—yet 60 percent of respondents still say the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
This is very much aligned with what I am seeing with the companies we work with and speak with. Business leaders are really starting to realize that technology can only do so much; change is required. Now organizations are starting to explore what these changes are that need to happen and how they need to happen since they fundamentally impact the core of the company.
Many organizations are continuing to focus on empowering their remote and mobile workers by allowing them to connect to the organization through a mobile device aka “connect to work.” I’m finding that there are some security concerns around mobile but companies are finding ways to deal with them (for example losing a phone which has an app that allows someone to get access to a companies’ internal environment). Allowing employees to work and connect from mobile devices appears to be a big priority from what I’m hearing. Again, according to McKinsey:
Remarkably, 65 percent say their companies have adopted at least one technology that’s used on a mobile device and that 48 percent of their companies’ employees have mobile access.
This is certainly supporting research which employees can take back to their organizations to help build support and the case for evolving how they work. The fact is that the way we work is changing and the smart organizations are adapting to that change. In just 3 years the number of companies adopting social technologies in their organizations has almost doubled and I fully expect this growth to continue at an even more rapid pace during 2013 and 2014. Organizations are clearly seeing the value in deploying these social and collaborative technologies and are going to have to move the technology focus.
Organizations looking to succeed with these initiatives should read, the 12 principles of collaboration.