RSG's 2014 Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Survey reveals an evolving organizational dynamic for internal departments involved in collaboration and social initiatives.
Funding and Sponsorship
Funding and sponsorship remains quite diverse across enterprises. IT funds or sponsors 32% of collab-social initiatives and thus emerges as the #1 department. But perhaps more interesting is the converse: IT does not sponsor nearly 70% of the total projects.
Business units (as an umbrella for non-IT functions) are much more actively involved in driving these projects. Broadly, this mirrors the rise of the SaaS model in the industry, which makes it easier -- but not always ideal -- for non-technical stakeholders to procure software.
Another important trend is the rise of Corporate Communications. It ranks ahead of the traditional departments like Knowledge Management and Human Resources. We term this as "Communications 2.0" -- internal communications team taking a greater interest in fostering employee-to-employee communications.
Corporate Communications and IT emerge as the top 2 departments, again underscoring the key role comms teams are playing. The relatively lesser involvement of HR departments is a tad surprising, perhaps reflecting HR's near-term focus on optimizing HR-specific systems as the broader role of HR in the organization itself is undergoing a change.
Not surprisingly, IT leads the implementation of about a third of collab-social projects. But note that responsibilty for the other two-thirds of the proejcts rest with other departments. This suggests that most enteprises do not consider collaboration projects to be purely technology projects but "business" initiatives.
Clearly that's a positive development, but I'll add a note of caution. When IT gets left out of the picture completely, projects may not necessarily scale well beyond the departmental level: the challenges of enterprise-wide deployments often involve complexities that usually require IT to untangle.