Microsoft Study: Worker Appetite for Social Tools is Increasing

Enterprise social tools at the workplace, making it easier for people to share files and information with co-workers and to collaborate as teams across departments and locations. Infographic "Evolution of IT Pro".

A recent Microsoft study in 32 countires among 9,908 information workers, shows that many companies just don't understand the business benefits of social tools or how to get started.

According to survery conducted by research firm Ipsos, nearly half of employees report that social tools at work help increase their productivity, "but more than 30 percent of companies underestimate the value of these tools and often restrict their use. In fact, the respondents stated that their company "frowns on social tools,"" revealed the Microsoft research.

The research data also shows that 39% of employees feel there isn't enough collaboration in their workplaces, and 40% believe social tools help foster better teamwork. More surprisingly, 31% said they are willing to spend their own money to buy social tools.

Adam Pisoni, Microsoft's general manager of Yammer, believes that "Social is moving from a nice-to-have tool to a necessity in the workplace," says Pisoni adding, "Just as email accelerated business in the 90s, social tools are driving a faster flow of knowledge and information within and across organizations," he said.

Unlike consumer services such as Facebook, enterprise social provides private, shared workspaces for employees to share inside and outside the walls of their company.

Now, place social networking in the workplace and you have a modern way of sharing, learning, and organizing internally within a company. As Microsoft states, this allows employees and employers to be much more responsive to consumer needs.

He also reiterated over time, Microsoft wants to provide connected experiences across all of the applications in your company. After all, most of the collaboration taking place today happens in tools such as Yammer, Office 365, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

In addtion, Microsoft has also launched a new site called the "Worldwide Water Cooler," which allows people from any country to partake in a discussion about workplace collaboration. The participants can answer questions and share thoughts via Twitter directly from the site. You can check out that site at theworldwidewatercooler.com.

You can check out the Microsoft research study here (PDF).

microsoft infographic: social tools in the global workplace

Update 06/01: Microsoft's Server and Cloud team created a infographic, shown below, that is designed to showcase how the IT professionals have played an important role throughout the age of computing.

The era of personal computing that begun in the 1970s, as a hobby, saw desktop PCs began to be used more and more by businesses in the 1980s. The era when a 5.25-inch floppy disk drive was introduced in 1976-to-todays' SSDs.

Microsoft Infographic: Evolution of IT Pro