I carried out this exercise at the end of 2011 and it seemed to go down fairly well so here is the list for 2012 (I tracked all the new research that I saw being published throughout the year). Beside this I learn loads in the process – I hope you do too :) I indicate clearly where it is free or paid for and where you can access the reports. One final note is that I have covered off in a little detail some of the better pieces but ultimately there is no real order of priority nor timing between any of the pieces.
The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies
McKinsey have now almost become the bellwether for research into social business. This report focuses on examining the potential impact of social technologies in four sectors: consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services. They further cover ten value-creating “levers” that can be used across the value chain, from product development through after-sale customer service. They also highlight a challenge for enterprises in transforming their organizational structures, processes, and cultures to become “extended networked enterprises” that connect well internally as well as with customers and partners. This Harvard Business Review article highlights how critical this is (Co-Creation: The Real Social-Media Revolution) and I wrote an article about these activities but ultimately we could be doing much more: Customer co-creation in 2012: How are social technologies supporting Open Innovation?
Hype Cycle for Social Software, 2012
I said McKinsey were almost the bellweather because we could not forget the beast that is Gartner and their Hype Cycle :) Because this is a paid for report I cannot share any of the finer details or images but herewith a few highlights for me. Following on from the last point mentioned in the McKinsey piece, Gartner has External Community Platforms “sliding into the trough”. Perhaps this corroborates the point made by McKinsey that this is not as easy as it seems and challenges abound. Still agree with HBR that this is where the real revolution lies and after all, the “slope of enlightenment” is just round the corner :) Gartner also plots Social Software Suites in the same trough which is where Yammer, the company I work for, would sit and so for similar reasons there would be (if you agree with these views) reason for hope. They at the very least have “Internal Community Platforms” climbing the slope and this is squarely in Yammer territory. This together with our unique work on External Communities (see article I wrote and linked to above) mean we are poised for even greater success :)
Social Business: What Are Companies Really Doing?
MITSloan Management Review conducted this research in collaboration with Deloitte and it is based on a survey of managers from companies in 115 countries and 24 industries. They had 3,478 respondents to a questionnaire. So this is definitely representative and from a trusted and believable source, especially from MITSloan Management Review who are doing more and more work in this space: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/innovation-hubs/social-business/ Key findings from this report are that:
- Social Business matters and will continue to grow in importance
- Some leaders are enthusiastic, but lack metrics to prove value
- Large and smaller organisations are the most advanced in their use of social technologies and,
- Media and tech organisations are leading the way
The Business of Social Business: What Works and How It′s Done
This report is from the IBM Institute for Business Value. The results are based on a survey of more than 1,100 executives and in-depth interviews with 26 companies worldwide. This study shows how leading companies are integrating social into their strategies to:
- Create valued customer experiences
- Drive workforce productivity and effectiveness
- Accelerate innovation
This report is focused on the implementation/execution aspects of social business and does well to emphasise the cultural aspects that need to be attended to for success. In particular it addresses change management considerations and points out that whilst it will require a unique application of change management, it will nonetheless require tried and tested techniques to influence corporate culture and performance.
Free – Download Here (registration required)
The Economics of the Socially Engaged Enterprise
This is a report based on a recent study by PulsePoint Group in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit. They define Social Engagement as “the active, mutually-beneficial exchange of value between an organization and its constituents (employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders)”. This study is pretty much focused on the big ROI question and identifies six types of socially engaged enterprises and provides insights for organizations that want both to measure themselves against peers and find the right strategy for improving business and economic impact from their investments in social engagement.
Social Dollars: The Economic Impact of Customer Participation in a Firm-Sponsored Online Community
Technically this is a piece of research that predates 2012 because that is when it was carried out. But I first got wind of this in a strategy+business article (the publishing arm of booz&co.) published in April 2012 and so lets not get pedantic – good research is good research and this piece certainly falls in that category. It covers to some degree the same ground I covered in my article on co-creation and open innovation mentioned earlier in that it straddles the intersection of enterprise social networks and the open social web. It very robustly tries to quantify value by exploring consumers who join the community and become more engaged with the firm, and as a result, increase their economic activity with the firm. Definitely worth reading regardless of time scales.
Delivering the social business imperative
This is an article by Forrester that probably precedes some of there full blown research (further down) but it is based on Forrester survey data from 1,332 executives and IT decision-makers. It covers some of the major social business goals organisations had for 2012 as well a some some of the critical success factors from an IT point of view as well as from a border stakeholder point of view.
Social Business Can Bring Measurable Value
And where would we be without our obligatory infographic (and a handy way to break up this long list with a visual :) Here is one based on a survey by Mzinga, Teradata Aster, and The Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. This article over on Social Business news gives a little more background but of course the infographic speaks for itself.
Why Social Networks Are Replacing Intranets
Nothing quantifiable about this piece but it is rather interesting and bears out a lot of what I was saying in this article: 10 things that make an intranet social and critical.
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis
The IDC “Marketscape” report is similar to the Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave reports. The report highlights market trends and evaluates key vendors. It is very much aimed at organisations making key decisions around which platform to choose for their internal social business activities. Yammer is listed as a leader – I won’t say more than that considering my background and the fact that I have tried to stay completely unbiased in this post :)
Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace
As mentioned in the last report note, this is Gartner’s report. Here is an article from CMSWire that does a pretty good job of summarising the findings of the report – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions :)
The Forrester Wave Activities Streams
Here is the vendor focused report from Forrester. Also sticking with the same publication, here is an article from CMSWire covering the report.
Enterprise Social Networking
And finally in this series of vendor focused reports, here is a report from Ovum. A basic summary of the report is given on the page and so hopefully this provides some insights.
The future of Work
Since I had a very small part in the development of this report I thought I would mention it. Yammer were consulted (amongst many other organisations, including non-vendors) for our insights and I contributed my views which were incorporated in some parts. This goes far beyond social business and I particularly enjoyed working on some of the contradictions that the new world of work throws out. Members have full access to CRF’s extensive research and non members can view the executive summary only which I have linked to below.
Social Network Emergence – The SNEP model
Based on the work I have been doing in the last year at Yammer, supporting companies adoption of social technologies, this really is some of the most practical piece of research I have encountered. It really does a great job of describing the adoption curve and some of the factors to take into consideration. Below is a link to the blog post summarising the findings and you’ll find a link to the full report there too.
Executive summary here (with link to report)
How social technologies drive business success
In this piece of work commissioned by Google to find out more about the potential of social tools in the world of business, they asked Millward Brown to gather opinions from 2,700 professionals across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They wanted to see if social tools are already helping businesses to grow faster, whether and how they can help your career, and which countries are at the forefront of this social revolution in Europe.
Free – Download Here (direct link to pdf).
So hopefully this continues to be of value and if so let me know and I’ll continue to do this :) Also share with others if you think anyone would benefit from this.