Sector RoadMap: work media tools in 2012

1Executive Summary

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.

Crowd Labor platform verndors scored against disruption vectors


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Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd

Managing Director Gigaom Research

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