In December, Forrester released a study forecasting that ESN software will grow at a compound annual rate of 61% through 2016, a year in which spending for these products will reach $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million last year. Only 12% of information workers have access to enterprise social collaboration software, and only 8% of them use it at least once a week, according to the report.
In February, Altimeter Group published a report on ESN that concluded that most companies aren't implementing and using these products properly, leading to unmet goals. Missteps in planning and execution abound, and include not defining clearly the reasons for adopting ESN software and not analyzing properly usage metrics to monitor employee engagement. This in turn leads to problems, like a sharp drop in interest and usage after initial enthusiasm; strong adoption in only one department; confusion about proper use of the software, due in part to a lack of executive involvement; and lack of clarity and maturity of the organization's social business strategy and goals.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.