Around a fifth of companies are expecting to replace their use of email with social networking communications by 2014, according to a new report from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that the shift has been prompted by the increased availability of social networking services, as well as changes to working styles.
Gartner explained that, while this represents a change in the use of communications, it will bring many benefits.
“In the past, organisations supported collaboration through email and highly structured applications only,” said Monica Basso, a research vice president at Gartner.
“Today, social paradigms are converging with email, instant messaging and presence creating new collaboration styles.
However, Basso argued that “a truly collaborative, effective and efficient workplace” will not become the norm until these capabilities are made widely available and users become more comfortable with them.
“Technology is only an enabler; culture is a must for success,” she added.
The emergence of a new generation of workers used to communicating through social media will also increase adoption, according to Basso.
“The rigid distinction between email and social networks will erode,” she said. “Email will take on many social attributes, such as contact brokering, while social networks will develop richer email capabilities.”
Importantly Gartner go on to reference IBM and Lotus Connections specifically as enablers for this new way of working.
So, is your organisation in that group of one in five that sees beyond the email age to the new ways of working? If not, surely it is time to take the first steps to see why there is a better way, to communicate, to collaborate and to be personally productive?