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Backing the wrong horse

Good to see enterprise social networking getting its due mention in the business pages of the venerable Financial Times, courtesy of Geoff Nairn’s Connected Business column.

He points out what many vendors and buyers of enterprise social networking solutions are discovering – sometimes to their cost – already (my emphasis):

The trials and tribulations of these consumer social networking sites may seem of marginal relevance to mainstream businesses. But the enterprise social networking industry is currently enjoying a boom similar to that experienced by consumer social networking pioneers five years earlier. A shake-out for these business-focused sites may be further out, but business decision-makers need to be aware today of the consequences of backing the wrong social networking horse.

Personally I think we are going to see a few trends in this space over the next 12-18 months:

  1. More fall-out and consolidation amongst enterprise social networking software vendors;
  2. Greater demand from business decision-makers for research and analysis of the options they face;
  3. Growth in the number of independent consultants providing evaluation, implementation and adoption services to ensure companies don’t back the wrong horse.