Over the summer, we conducted a short survey among the Social Business Council members to gauge where large enterprises are regarding their progress introducing social to the enterprise. The request was made by a Council member who was looking for some hard benchmarking data he could share with his team.
We wanted to answer the question:
“How far along are the leading early adopters?”
The results were eye-opening. So many of us who track the market are always saying how early we are, how we are just at the beginning of this transformation, how it could take a decade or so to really start seeing the fruits of our efforts, etc. But, we really didn’t have a lot of hard evidence.* Now we do.
The first eye-opener was where early adopters report they are.
Nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed (57%) reported that that only 10-20% of their eligible workforce is active on the platform. The flip side of this statistic is, of course, that there is a lot of room to grow, and it opens up large opportunities for consultants, vendors, and social business advocates to help companies succeed here.
The second big reveal for me was the number of companies who indicated there is no real integration between their external social initiatives (social media/customer outreach) and their internal social efforts (a.k.a. Enterprise 2.0). It was nearly unanimous: 96% reported there was nothing today that integrated their social business initiatives, although nearly half reported this was on the planning board.
In short, the survey asked 10 simple questions, yet essentially debunked some of the hype that circulates on the social web regarding the state of the market. In essence, the social business phenomenon is real, but all stakeholders vested in the market would be well-advised to exercise some patience in expecting game-changing results.
Dion Hinchcliffe wrote a longer piece on ZDnet with some of his takeaways, and you can download the report here.
*These survey results reflect the progress of a unique cohort: very large enterprises with more than one billion USD in annual revenue that are actively engaged in a social business initiative. Smaller organizations may report different results.