Study: The biggest social collaboration tool inside big companies is … Facebook?

facebookSalesforce.com, Microsoft, IBM and many smaller companies are competing aggressively in the market for enterprise social collaboration, offering advanced tools specifically designed to help workers communicate and share insights.

But it turns out the dominate social collaboration tool inside big companies is plain old Facebook, followed by Twitter.

That’s one of the takeaways from a study released today (PDF) by Avanade, the Seattle-based consulting firm that specializes in Microsoft technologies. The firm says the finding suggests that businesses have “a false sense of accomplishment in social collaboration.”

The survey encompassed 4,000 end users and 1,000 business and IT decision-makers in 22 countries. Facebook was used by 74 percent of companies that have adopted social tools internally, followed by Twitter at 51 percent, LinkedIn at 45 percent, SharePoint at 39 percent, IBM Open Connections at 17 percent, Salesforce Chatter at 12 percent, Yammer at 11 percent and Jive at 7 percent.

Avanade notes that consumer-oriented social technologies lack document storage, the ability to share best practices across teams, sharing and group editing, the ability to search for experts inside a company, and integration with enterprise communication systems.

“The truth is that there is a stark difference between consumer social networks and what’s needed for enterprise social collaboration,” the report says. “Business and IT decision-makers believe they are enabling collaboration with social technologies, but the social technologies they report using most fall short in important areas needed for a business to effectively collaborate.”

However, Avanade says it expects a shift over the next 12 months, with more companies adopting actual enterprise social collaboration tools, such as SharePoint and Chatter. Microsoft doubled down in this area through its acquisition of Yammer for $1.2 billion.

The full Avanade study is available here.

  • Tom R

    I think the survey was just poorly worded. If the question was about digital marketing then FB or Twitter would have been viable answers. No one is using Facebook or Twitter for corporate collaboration.

  • Guest

    Seems reasonable. I’ve been using third-party collaboration tools, from AOL Instant Messenger to GooChat to Facebook, at work for years. Especially at smaller companies, these media are much more cost-effective than the alternative. Besides, if you set your permissions correctly, no one outside your work network can see what you’re doing anyway.

    Those who reject this are merely forestalling the future. Everyone reading this paragraph uses GooMail to store their private e-mail, GooDrive to work on confidential docs, FaceBook to store photos of their friends’ nude bodies, and so on. Fear of “the cloud” is very real, but wasting money on intranet collab-tools that no one needs is far more destructive to shareholder value.

  • SergioVo

    Small business goes with Bitrix24, Asana, Wrike and other SMB friendly solutions, especially Bitrix24.

  • http://www.twoodo.com/ Andrea Francis

    Hi Todd! There are tons of solutions out there for collaboration in the workplace, but I guess people are slow to change. It can also be complicated to decide what works best for each team within a company. For example, we are a small remote team spread from Hong Kong to London. Even though we all have our separate roles in the company, we also like to keep an overview of what each other person is doing without having formal meetings. So Twoodo was developed, which helped us to easily assign tasks, ask questions and vote on issues (as well as hold chat-like discussions and share documents). It’s been awesome working with it, but we’d still love your feedback. Tell us who you think it would work for best! http://bit.ly/18DN20w