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Blogs > Office Jotter

Done - our survey of SaaS-based enterprise social networking
Roger Whitehead By: Roger Whitehead, Director, Office Futures
Published: 13th July 2011
Copyright Office Futures © 2011

The report on our survey of SaaS-based enterprise social networking (ESN) is now ready. You can get it here, free (registration required).

Our analysis is based on 121 responses, mostly from managers and directors, including IT managers and CIOs. They represent over half a million users.

The survey’s main findings were that:

  • ESN gained a firm endorsement from organisations already using it. 87% expected an increase in use over the next year. Only a tiny minority of 2% expected a decrease.
  • 60% of respondents chose a SaaS-based social network because they are ‘fast to deploy and configure’.
  • Business benefits following ESN adoption included faster decision decision-making, improved service to customers, and better access to experts and unstructured data. There were efficiency savings through a reduced need for face-to-face meetings.

Other results

Respondents told us that SaaS-based systems are more cost effective. They also said that, with these systems:

  • Trials and pilots are easier and more containable
  • Version upgrading and updating is easier, as is load balancing
  • Implementing new systems is quicker.

Conversely, they saw on-premise systems as:

  • More compliant with internal policies
  • More secure
  • Easier to integrate with directories and computing infrastructure.


The results from this survey are confirmatory rather than revelatory, but are valuable for that alone. Most of what the respondents told us echoes the advantages that SaaS vendors claim for their services.

The overall impression is that SaaS-based enterprise social networking is ready for prime time but not yet for organisations that require high security or close compliance with rules.


Carl Potter and I are grateful to everyone who completed the survey forms, which were complex. The promised prizes have been sent, the two winners coming from an American healthcare equipment company and a Dutch systems consultancy.

If you’d like to use any of the report’s results in your company’s sales publications or campaigns, please email Maria Luisi at Bloor Research.


Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
T: +44 (0)190 888 0760 | F: +44 (0)190 888 0761