At the heart of internal communication, collaborative practices are progressing: their annual growth rate has been around 15% since 2014. This figure is taken from the 2018 study by Lecko on the state of the art of internal transformation in organizations. This study (available here) is now the reference for a sector looking for an impartial and serious observer of its evolutions. Conducted with 37 large companies, this study analyzed dozens of online communities. These brought together a total of nearly 470,000 users who were engaged at least once and who interact via their enterprise social network (i.e. more than the combined workforce of the four largest companies in the CAC 40: LVMH, Total, L’Oréal and Sanofi).
Also read: Top 12 best enterprise social networks
Needless to say, this puts surveys into perspective, as they are based on limited methodological tools and samples and thus fail to truly measure employee commitment. For example, the IGS-RH study carried out at the end of 2017 was based on an online survey of 1,200 people and 54 (!) qualitative interviews conducted within two large companies.
In short, just about anything and everything has been said about enterprise social networks (ESN).
Collaborative applications are growing steadily
To measure the progress of collaboration, we must first look at the market of collaborative applications. According to the research firm IDC, this market was expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.3% in France between 2017 and 2021. IDC anticipates a drop in the share of messaging from 36% to 31%, while file-sharing tools are expected to rise from 20% to 25% and enterprise social networking should increase from 17% to 19%.
Another significant indicator: the collaboration market is shifting to a SaaS approach—the only real way to establish cross-functional collaboration. IDC estimates that sales of SaaS collaboration applications will grow by 12.9% per year, representing 82% of collaborative applications by 2021. At the same time, on-premise applications are expected to decline by 12.5% annually between 2017 and 2021.
Collaboration is progressing, and the enterprise social networks occupy a central place in this dynamic.
Within companies large and small, multiple uses have developed to respond to the problems of organizations and their employees. Whether it is a question of better internal communication, better collaboration from a business perspective, better knowledge sharing or better innovation.
Of course, this does not mean that adoption is widespread and knows no limits. Indeed, one of the major “internal communication” challenges that remain to be met is to get “non-connected” employees on board (e.g. frontline employees, i.e. field workers who do not work on a computer every day). However, even on this subject, things are moving forward because more and more Internal Communication departments want to make a difference.
Finally, another signal that collaboration has progressed is the evolution of the enterprise social network itself. As organizations adopt them, they are transforming and enriching functionally and ergonomically to better meet collaboration needs. Over the last few years, many new features have been added: work-related (videoconferencing, screen sharing, productivity chatbots, task/project management) as well as social ones (directory, emojis, animated gifs, polls).
The story goes one, and at a frantic pace. 🚀
★ SUCCESS STORY ★
At Aramisauto, the enterprise social network is just part of the daily routine.
The teams couldn’t do without it. Since its deployment in 2012, the enterprise social network has become essential to the daily operation of Aramisauto. The 500 employees are all connected to it, accomplishing their mission and participating in the day-to-day life of the company. Thanks to the social network, the flow of information has become more fluid—so much so that in the thread dedicated to the HR hotline, employees are often the ones who answer their colleagues. As a sign that sharing is effective, questions from employee representatives have also become almost non-existent as they have a group on the social network.
Business collaboration is anchored in internal communication, and as such, is based on a community of experts. Employees can question this community directly and receive a rapid response. In the past, when faced with a specific technical question, a sales representative first had to identify the right contact person, then contact that person by email or telephone. What’s more, spontaneous collaboration has developed: if a sales rep doesn’t know how to respond to a customer, his peers step in ahead of the managers. For sales people, the social network plays other important roles for animating the sales team, such as communicating the day’s sales objectives, and inventorying the number of vehicles left to be sold. Finally, the ESN is also a key element of the corporate culture: when new employees arrive, the social network is where they are introduced and welcomed.