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Today, a younger social media savvy generation is entering the workforce, bringing with them new skills and expectations regarding the deliver of information.
A recent joint Unisys and IDC study has found that these younger information workers will drive changes in the way in which corporate interaction and communication takes place.i The study expects that, in corporations with more than 500 employees, the number of information workers using social networking platforms will almost double between 2009 and 2014.ii The same research report predicts that the number of business interactions will grow four-fold, from 3.5 trillion in 2010, to 12.7 trillion by 2013.
Naturally, businesses are searching for more efficient methods of communication to deal with expanding information volumes and the necessary business interactions that accompany that trend.
According to respondents to a recent CIO magazine poll determining CIO priorities for 2011, collaborative and social technologies will be crucial in addressing and facilitating this swell in information exchange, by boosting workforce productivity. Sixty-seven percent of survey participants said that improving employee productivity would be a major focus in 2011.
To achieve this collaborative decision-making (CDM) environment, Business Intelligence (BI) software is beginning to merge with Web 2.0 technologies, harnessing their rich, open-access, easy-to-use functionality that users have come to expect. The merging of BI and Web 2.0 technologies has given rise to the new concept of Social and Collaborative BI - a type of CDM platform. This platform, like social Web 2.0 technologies, is designed around the premise that anyone should be able to share content and contribute to discussion, anywhere and anytime.
IDC predicts that 2011 will be the year where the trend of embedding social media style features into BI solutions will make its mark, and that virtually all types of business applications will undergo a fundamental transformation.
IDC, along with many other analytics firms, also believes the emerging CDM software market will grow quickly, forecasting revenues of nearly $2 billion by 2014, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.2 percent between 2009 and 2014.
This re-design of the corporate communications process has even been touched on by global computing icon, Bill Gates, with the ICT pioneer stating that: 'social networking-type applications will become as ubiquitous in the workplace as Microsoft Office tools and will likely replace email as the dominant form of corporate communications'.