Work media is a new class of social tools based on the principles of open social networks like Facebook and Twitter but oriented to the specific needs of businesses and professionals. A fast-growing enterprise-software sector, these tools are also called enterprise social networks, business social networks, or social business networks.
Key findings include:
- The most disruptive force in this sector is the 3D workforce, a phrase that represents the distributed, decentralized, and discontinuous way that work is now accomplished.
- The conduct of today’s business is dramatically different than that of even a few years ago. As a result, this puts great pressure on businesses to adapt to a fundamentally and nearly totally different set of changes, which include new attitudes toward the work-life balance, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, the acceptance of the social web as a medium of market interaction, an increasing reliance on freelancers for professional and creative work, and the adoption of a new and relatively immature generation of social-media-inspired tools as an alternative to earlier web-based communication solutions.
- Well-established enterprise-software vendors — like Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware — are acquiring promising work media startups — like Yammer, Podio, and Socialcast — and integrating them into next-generation Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suites, including document management, social CRM, and business analytics. This may be attractive to larger corporations seeking a broadly integrated social business solution.
- A few work media startups, like the now-public Jive and U.K.-based Huddle, remain independent pace setters in the marketplace and take a more open approach to integration. A few may remain independent, and they may be more likely to develop innovative solutions that match the rapid and fluid style of work today and in the near future.