Business communication use of social media predicted to soar

One in five employees will use social networks such as Twitter as their main business communication tool by 2014, analyst firm Gartner has predicted.

This trend will be driven by the greater availability of social networking services, coupled with changing demographics and work styles, according to Monica Basso, research vice-president at Gartner.

“In the past, organisations supported collaboration through email and highly structured applications only,” she said. “Today, social paradigms are converging with email, instant messaging and presence, creating new collaboration styles.”

Younger employees will enter the workforce with a predisposition to communicate via a social network, but they will use email in parallel, Basso said.

“The rigid distinction between email and social networks will erode,” she said. “Email will take on many social attributes, such as contact brokering, while social networks will develop richer email capabilities.”

Basso urged employers to invest in communications and collaboration tools to drive change in organisations and styles of work.

“The reality is that mobile collaboration will increase for all categories of workers, and organisations can either take the lead, or be led by their users,” she said.

“The most progressive organisations won’t be afraid to explore the innovative communications and collaboration models enabled by new devices and social services.”

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