x-Early Perspectives

Digital Workplace Trends 2012 – 10 key findings

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in January 2012 ……


1. Social collaboration experimentation is continuing but enterprise-wide deployment has not increased over the last 12 months.

2. Benefits observed from social and collaborative initiatives remain anecdotal and qualitative. The most commonly observed are “knowledge-sharing”, and “engaged, better informed employees”. The least common are “faster time to market”, “cost reduction” and “reduced time for training”.

3. Strong concerns remain about information quality and security, and the business value of social collaboration. New concerns emerge as organizations gain experience: re-creation of organizational silos on new social platforms, digital native versus digital migrant cultures, and language issues in multi-language global companies.

4. Half the 456 participating organizations intend to increase their investment in social collaborative initiatives in 2012.

5. “Findability” of information, one of the toughest challenges today for intranets and digital workplaces, is far from solved. Forty percent of the leadership class and 50 percent of  the other organizations are dissatisfied with their search configuration and results

6. An increasing number of organizations are using the intranet or digital workplace to support customer-facing staff. Examples include  access to real-time information and experts in order to make customer service faster and more efficient.

7. Mobile services for the workforce were not a high priority in 2011. However, indications from leadership class organizations suggest mobile may become more important in 2012 as 14 percent have already made “significant investment” and another 36 percent have made “some investment”.

8. Business has not yet taken the lead on defining mobile strategies, which are primarily defined by IT departments.

9. Governance is not yet embedded in the way people work. Defining decision-making procedures, roles and responsibilities, policies and guidelines for managed and user-generated content are all high priorities for the majority of organizations, including the leadership class.

10. The major evolution in governance is the emergence of the “digital board“, a body responsible for high-level, strategic decision-making for both internal and external channels. These bodies coordinate decision-making for the intranet, collaborative spaces, social tools, external web sites and external social networking platforms. Seventeen percent of the 456 organizations have a fully functioning digital board and business functions play a large role as members of this board.