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Social media drives next-gen technologies

Social media and mobile connectivity are pushing a new generation of technologies that will make the workplace more productive in the long-term.

So says Greg Comline, senior manager at Deloitte, who points out that there are a number of benefits that can be achieved by businesses through the use of social media platforms.

“For those who use social media effectively, social media can improve the efficiency and quality that individuals are able to produce results. We have seen numerous examples of this efficiency across businesses.”

To discover how local businesses are making use of social networks, ITWeb in partnership with Deloitte, have unveiled the 2012 Social Media Survey, which Comline says aims to develop a view of the social media space in corporate SA.

In a similar survey that was conducted last year, more than three quarters (76.19%) of respondents revealed that they work for organisations that use social media as a business tool, this is compared to the 60.96% in the 2010 survey, indicating that the applications of social media are fast growing beyond merely that of keeping in contact with friends and family.

Comline says Deloitte hopes to see an improvement from last year for the strategic alignment of social media and improved analysis of the results from these activities.

“This survey identifies the degree to which the business community uses social media and the degree to which these initiatives are aligned with the strategic drivers of the business,” he explains.

“The data analytics components of the survey determine the degree to which companies are measuring the results of the social media activity and the how these are tied back to delivering the strategic objectives.”

This year, Comline also expects to see a shift in ownership of social media away from the marketing directors and more towards more senior leadership involvement.

However, he notes that though social media has several benefits to business, it is important to monitor and mitigate the variety of risks that it comes with.

“The mobile workforce is pushing the IT consumerisation within the corporate environment and this highlights the need for security to systems and the availability of information in an always on environment.

“It is advisable for companies to have the policies and procedures in place to be able to act on any issue although this should be complemented with a set of guidelines that is owned and enforced by the social media community. It is important to push as much responsibility onto individuals to act in the right way in the corporate and private capacity,” he concludes.

Click here to complete the survey.

By Admire Moyo, portals journalist, ITWeb