In 2012, social software and enterprise 2.0 tools were no longer new, as corporate-level buyers took over from grassroots adopters and financial analysts' excitement about enterprise social software started to wane. Interest in big data was high, promoting the field of analytics in general. Analytics provided insights about social data inside and outside the enterprise and provided a stepping-stone toward tools that automate knowledge tasks. What developments can be expected
- Corporate-level deployments of social software will increase steadily, often benefiting large companies like Microsoft and IBM. However, sales processes will be slow as corporate-level buyers take a cautious and rational approach to new investments.
- Small vendors will still find some success in selling tactical social software to project teams and departments, particularly in organizations where BYOD and bring-your-own-service trends have forced IT departments to loosen controls.
- Consumer-owned smartphones and software at work will continue to prove disruptive, and more organizations will develop policies and procedures to accommodate the change.
- Big data will continue to hit the headlines, but the real story in collaboration tools will be the development of analytics to analyze employee communications (often in combination with other business data).
- Further innovative examples of automating knowledge tasks will emerge in 2012, but major opportunities in this type of automation will remain a long-term development.
- Unified communications systems will progress, but despite vendors' talk of open standards, incompatibilities between some different videoconferencing systems will remain a challenge.
- Smartphones and tablets will play a growing role in workplace conferencing.
- Facebook will maintain its stranglehold over consumer social networking.