Gartner: Over 70% of IT-led social media initiatives will fail

More than 70% of all IT-led social media initiatives will fail over the next two years compared with about half of business-led ones, according to researchers Gartner.
This high failure rate is because organisations do not currently have the right skill sets in place to design and deliver such offerings, while the situation is also not helped by a dearth of suitable methodologies, technologies and tools to help them.

Therefore, said Mark Gilbert, a research vice president at the firm, it was crucial for both IT departments and business colleagues to work together in a “concerted and collaborative” fashion if they wanted to deliver successful projects.

The situation was likely to improve after 2012, however, leading to an increase in the overall impact of social media on both business and society and to growth in the social software market.

But the resultant higher availability of social networking services both inside and outside the company firewall, coupled with changing demographics and work styles, will have implications.

For example, by 2014, about a fifth of business users are predicted to use social networking services rather than email as their primary vehicle for interpersonal communications, particularly for activities such as status updates and locating experts.

Only 25% of enterprises are likely to routinely use such tools to try and improve performance and productivity by 2015 due to staff reluctance to respond accurately to surveys and resentment at being spied on by software.

If organisations do wish to go down this route, however, Gartner advises them to ensure they gain staff trust and buy-in in advance. They must also address privacy and confidentiality issues and clarify how any information would be used and communicated.

For the full article go to MyCustomer.com

Commentary

I disagree somewhat with this. I think 2010 will be a year of maturity and understanding for a lot of companies, both buyers and solution providers. Taken in context to the BPM scene we are already seeing a shift occuring and by 2011 this will reach critical mass. Mark states that it’s “crucial for both IT departments and business colleagues to work together in a “concerted and collaborative” fashion if they wanted to deliver successful projects”….isn’t this the point of social media and networking ? To foster a collaborative environment in the first place, not continue to build walls within the enterprise ? Come on Mark.

By 2014 I think we’ll see a larger proportion of business users on enterprise social platforms than the fifth stated too.

Another remark made states “Gartner advises them to ensure they gain staff trust and buy-in in advance. They must also address privacy and confidentiality issues and clarify how any information would be used and communicated.” relating to the use of social network mining tools to gather data on staff covertly. I’ve already made this remark in my previous blog entries, it’s a bit of a given.

Isn’t social networking about transparency ? I doubt they’d have to try very hard to gain ‘staff trust’ if they were open and honest and implemented a transparent network instead of an underground spy ring given the majority will be already aux fait with social networking and media platforms well ahead of the IT Dept’s learning curve. If anything they should turn to their staff for advice not the other way around.

Pretty average research note in a lot of ways in my opinion as it doesn’t go deep enough as usual.

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2 responses to “Gartner: Over 70% of IT-led social media initiatives will fail

  1. So the big question is "If you have neither the right skill-sets, and a dearth of suitable methodologies, technologies and tools to help why would you try and do a social-media led initiative?"Answer: Pack mentality. I believe there is a place for social media initiatives in IT. But I also believe that companies are thinking it’s a lot easier than it actually is. Maybe everyone should hold back for a while and wait until things stablise before wasting time, effort and resource on something that will fail 7 times out of 10.

  2. Nice comment Gary. There’s definitely a lot of pack mentality/ me-too going on right now but it depends on fundamental understanding in the first place. I expect there will be a significant number in new start ‘charlatans’ who will try to capitalise on this growth but it doesn’t take genius to find those who have been embedded in the social scene for a while to get real opinion and analysis. Projects will fail because as an enterprise it is not fully embraced as a concept and just seen as an expensive R&D initiative. IT will portray it as a new toy but not grasp how game-changing this will be. They’ll implement it along side existing email infrastructure, resources will look on it as simply another chat channel (like Lotus Sametime, if you don’t want your conversation over email flick it open and nark away) and productivity will dip.As I’ve stated in my last blog post, it’s the power of the network that needs to be understood well before IT go hunting wabbits with the procurement shotgun. If you’re not prepared to change how you think your business operates then it will fail.

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