The study examined 1,160 businesses and IT professionals to gain an understanding of the attitudes and uses of social technologies.
The survey revealed that while 46% of businesses increased their investments in social technologies only 22% believed that the managers were prepared to incorporate these technologies into their daily routine.
Although a large number of businesses intend to accelerate their social initiatives, the study suggests that many are still unsure whether they will see real returns from social investments.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they did not sufficiently understand the impact social technologies would have on their business within the next three years. IBM’s study suggests that a cultural shift is needed in the work place to successfully implement social technologies.
"Businesses are struggling to make sense of the vast amount of data generated from social networks, said Kevin Custis, vice president of IBM global business services. "To transform a vision into a reality, executive leadership must guide middle management on the value of being a social business, and build company-wide support for the use of social practices across organizational functions."
The social enterprise market is expected to grow with Forrester research predicting that the social enterprise apps market will grow at a rate of 61% through 2016.
IBM suggests that management implement an infrastructure to encourage engagement, such as forums and collaborative spaces.
Teaching employees how to use social business methods and tools is also beneficial and will help naturally integrate social tools into every day work life.
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