“Social is now open for business, and Jive is at the center of Social Business,” said Tony Zingale, Jive CEO. "Today's executives realize that the New Way to business is here and that they must have a social strategy or risk falling behind. The results of this survey underscore the importance and growth of the Social Business market." The study, called the Jive Social Business Index 2011, was conducted in May 2011 and surveyed 301 executives, 301 working millennials and 300 general knowledge workers at both large (1000+ employees) and mid-size companies (500 – 999 employees) across various industries. The Jive Social Business Index 2011 identified three key findings: - Social Business is a top executive strategic imperative; - App Stores are gaining traction in the enterprise; and - Email usage is growing but is not solving communication challenges in the enterprise. Finding #1: Social Business Is a Top Executive Strategic Imperative The study showed that Social Business is increasingly becoming a strategic initiative for enterprises, especially among executives and millennials. Over half of the executives interviewed believe that their companies would face moderate to high risk if they failed to adopt a Social Business strategy. Specific findings include: - Sixty-six percent of executives believe that social applications for business represent a fundamental shift in how work will get done and how companies will engage with customers; - Fifty-three percent of executives believe they must adopt Social Business or risk falling behind; - Sixty-two percent of executives cite the potential to achieve “better customer loyalty and service levels” and 57 percent anticipate “increased revenue or sales” as a result of implementing a Social Business strategy; - Sixty-two percent of all respondents think that businesses need to leverage social software inside and outside their organizations in order to remain competitive; - Online communities are an important source of information for making purchase decisions, especially for millennials. Fifty-four percent of millennials said that they are more likely to rely on and make purchase decisions from information shared via personal contacts in online communities versus 33 percent more likely to use information from “official” company sources; and - Eighty-three percent of executives leverage at least one social network for work use. Despite the urgency around Social Business, only 17 percent of executives think that their companies are "ahead of the curve" in terms of adequate adoption of a social strategy. A closer look at company sizes included in the survey reveals that executives at mid-size companies are more confident in their social strategies than executives at large companies. Finding #2: App Stores Are Gaining Traction in the Enterprise The second key finding revealed that there is a growing interest in the enterprise for an app store that provides access to a broad range of IT-approved business applications. Again, executives lead the charge, with 74 percent indicating interest. While most executives have downloaded at least one web-based app, most do it without seeking or receiving permission from their IT organization. Specific findings include: - Seventy percent of executives and 51 percent of millennials have downloaded at least 1 web-based application for work use either on their mobile device or personal computer; - Ninety-two percent of executives and 82 percent of millennials believe that work-related web-based apps greatly or somewhat increased their productivity; and - Fifty-eight percent of executives and 58 percent of millennials did not seek or receive permission from a systems administrator or an IT professional before downloading or using apps in the workplace. Finding #3: Email Usage Is Growing but Is Not Solving Communication Challenge The survey also uncovered that email usage has grown in the last two years. However, despite the increase in the use of these existing tools and processes, knowledge workers still find communication to be one of the top work challenges. Executives, millennials and general knowledge workers alike are looking for new ways to communicate on social platforms in an effort to increase productivity, change the way people connect and learn at work, and have better engagement with customers and partners. Specific findings include: - Seventy-seven percent of executives, 68 percent of millennials and 61 percent of general knowledge workers indicated that email usage in the workplace has increased in the last two years; - Eighty-nine percent of executives, 88 percent of millennials and 76 percent of general knowledge workers believe that they and their teams would be more productive if they could dramatically reduce the time spent writing and reading emails; and - Seventy-three percent of executives, 73 percent of millennials and 64 percent of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies. Read also "Executives Fail to Focus on Social Media Marketing Strategy" at eMarketer