I suspect enterprise social networking is being given the time of day by more executives than a couple of years ago mainly because of the mainstreaming of Facebook and Twitter. Even the most hardened laggard will have a close relative or friend who uses these. This fact has raised consciousness of the ubiquity of these tools, but is a double-edged sword for those like me who'd like to see more Web 2.0 in the workplace. On the one hand I can refer to activity streams, for example, as being 'like Twitter', thus short-cutting the explanation. On the other hand in doing so I'll conjure up whatever impressions, possibly negative, that person has of the content of Twitter, thus making it more difficult to get them to see that it could be different on the office social network.
Anyhow, this is a summary of sorts of where we seem to be, with some organisations swimmming but many still trying to put a toe in the water. What I want to do now is pull in other trends and factors and think about how things will go from here on.
At EurocloudUK the other week (thank goodness the speakers and topics were more up-to-date than the website! - sorry, Phil, David!) it was suggested by David Terrar (@dt) that the three big trends in technology at the moment are:
Yes, but: what's the relevance to social-in-the-enterprise? I think the social-cloud-mobile triumvirate mentioned above is going to - eventually - result on the virtual disappearance of the membrane that separates people within organisations from those outside it. I'm not sure though. And there's a huge amount to be said about that, touching on issues such as trust, confidentiality, transparency.
That's probably for a later post.