Internal business networks: the coming of age

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As social technologies become more accessible and easier to use, more and more businesses are embracing the possibilities on offer. Speaking to the Financial Times, Michael Chui, an expert on social media in companies at McKinsey & Company, the global consulting company, said; “We’re seeing everything from enterprise [corporate-specific] social networking to wikis, blogs and micro-blogs.”

Faster, Cheaper and more Efficient

There are several advantages associated with facilitating the sharing of knowledge between employees through social networks. Ensuring easy access to data and expertise serves to increase internal collaboration, facilitate communication and, as a direct result, improve operational efficiencies.

Talent acquisition is another area where social tools can help businesses save time and money. Popular networks such as LinkedIn enable recruiters to search through a database of more than 175 million users, throughout 200 countries. “Social networks have revolutionised the sector,” said Mark Weisbaum, Recruitment Manager at 4C Associates. “Proactively searching and targeting prime candidates for each role is far more feasible for in-house recruitment functions. The time and external support costs can be reduced to a fraction of previous levels.”

More Time to Mature

Despite increasing adoption rates, the 2012 Hype Cycle for Social Software report from Gartner, revealed that a significant number of companies are reluctant to embrace social technologies. Many business leaders remain unsure as to the benefits of employing these solutions and are nervous about the potential risks linked with sharing confidential information.

There is little doubt that business social networks have the potential to revolutionise the way in which large companies share information. The issue is designing a system which is not only user friendly but also practical and secure. Once social solutions are fully optimised for business use, and employed in conjunction with other technologies, such as cloud, mobile and advanced data analysis, businesses will be able benefit from numerous operational improvements.

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