What's holding back Enterprise Social-Collaboration?

  • 23-Aug-2016

RSG's 2016 Enterprise Social-Collaboration survey found that while enterprise customers have built solid foundations, they still struggle to adopt more advanced, social- and mobile-enabled use cases. And enterprises at large have barely begun transitioning to a holistic employee-centered digital workplaces.

So, what is holding back enterprise customers here?  

Our survey data (get a complimentary copy of the results) shows that the two main non-technical problems are Executive Buy-in and Insufficient Staffing. Forty-six percent of organizations consider these topics to be very challenging. 

I'm not too surprised, inasmuch as senior management, with some notable exceptions, tends to focus more on "customer digital experience" and less so on "employee digital experience". This often results in inadequate staffing for digital workplace initiatives, and soldiering on with part-time resources amid program delays. 

The silver lining is that — in our 15 years of tracking the industry — we also definitely see progress. Digital Workplace initiatives have become a bit more strategic than before, particularly at larger enterprises. 

Key Challenges for Enterprise Social-Collaboration

Figure 1: Key Challenges faced in Enterprise Social-Collaboration. Source: RSG Survey 2016.

Getting Governance Right

The next set of challenges that stymie social-collaboration projects are governance (41%) and user adoption (40%). Social-collaboration is inherently cross-functional, so getting governance right always proves difficult.  We see enterprises frequently testing out different models before figuring out what works best for your organization.

If You Build / Buy It, Will They Come?

As with most enterprise software initiatives, user adoption continues to be a bug bear. The big question mark remains, "if you build it, will they come?" Only that in the SaaS era, the question is "if you buy it, will they use it?"

We continue to advise that the key consideration remains, "what's in it for the employee?" Digital workplace leaders can clear the obstacles by disseminating best practices and implementation standards.

Defining the business case and getting funding do not top the list of challenges but still nearly a third of organizations find them challenging.

Advice for Digital Workplace Leaders

Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina begins with, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Your organization will likely have its unique set of challenges. As a Digital Workplace leader, not only should focus on selecting the right-fit technology for your organization but also anticipate the likely challenges you encounter and plan to mitigate them. 

Our customers say...

"RSG's The Collaboration & ESN Software Research is the most comprehensive and detailed analysis of this rapidly developing marketplace available. Of particular value are the vendor profiles and the authors' depth of knowledge and understanding."

Dr. Martin De Saulles, Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton, UK

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