The Connected Web

Phil Wainewright

Bottom-Line Impact of Social Networking

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Results of a global survey of HR executives published earlier this month by IBM suggests that adopting collaboration and social networking tools really does enhance revenues and profits. According to a press statement issued by the vendor, companies that perform well financially "are 57 percent more likely than underperformers to use collaborative and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together."

I suppose in a way that's stating the obvious — you'd expect companies that excel at teamwork to outperform those whose internal communications and goal sharing are weak. But it's a handy endorsement for the use of tools that help facilitate collaboration.

Other nuggets from the report, which can be downloaded in full here, include:


  • External recruitment, learning programs and corporate communications are the activities where HR executives say their organisations most frequently use collaboration and social networking tools.

  • One fifth of companies have increased their investment in collaboration tools and analytics in spite of the downturn in the economy.

  • Collaboration tools were regularly used to spread innovation more widely (27 percent of respondents); to preserve critical knowledge (23 percent of respondents); and to identify individuals with relevant knowledge and skills (19 percent of respondents).


Vendors are often asserting that social networking and collaboration tools have a significant role to play in activities such as recruitment and knowledge management. The survey results seem to bear that out, at least as far as around a quarter of organisations are concerned.

Phil Wainewright blogs about how businesses are using the Web to get better plugged into today's fast-moving, digital economy.

Phil Wainewright

Phil Wainewright specializes in on-demand services View more

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