There are implicit risks in pushing back on the adoption of social tools and applications, however: IDC's research has consistently shown that business units will adopt their own applications and services if the IT department either obstructs or slows down the implementation. This not only has implications in terms of security and compliance, but it also fuels a new trend in enterprise IT.
Most companies have spent the last decade on trying to break down IT silos but with social applications we are seeing a new trend of what could best be described as "pockets" of IT whereby different business units across the company are buying or subscribing to their own social applications and platforms with no unified approach or company-wide view on how they can affect the company - either positively or negatively.
But far more importantly, these two camps could ultimately become a grouping of winners and losers: the winners will be the companies who understand the trends of the market and embrace the tools, services and channels that their customers and employees are already using. The losers, simply speaking, are the ones that don't.
There is an important distinction to make: the steep drop in Facebook's share price reflects the divide between the initial hype and the tangible business case and outlook of one (albeit the biggest) social media company. It does not signify an uncertainty regarding social as a market trend.
So despite the controversies surrounding the Facebook IPO, the world of "social" goes on and we expect to see a slew of vendors and service providers - both the large ones and more niche type ones - pushing social applications into the market in the coming year. I expect two trends in particular to drive these social offerings: all of them will be at least partly tied to cloud services and most of them will focus on expending the social features to mobile devices.
So "social" should not be considered on its own - it is fundamentally tied to the other three IT pillars that IDC will focus on in the year to come: cloud, mobility, big data.
Claus Mortensen is director, IDC's Asia/Pacific Emerging Technologies Research.
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