SINGAPORE - A survey conducted by IT research agency IDC, on behalf of Microsoft, shows that 52 per cent of companies in Singapore have an enterprise social network in place and an additional 23 per cent plant to adopt one in the next 18 months.
Todd Cione, Microsoft chief marketing and operations officer for Asia, notes that a social network is not just a new set of tools - it is a new way of thinking about an organisation.
"It's about putting people at the centre of the organisation; and ensuring that customers, employees and partners can connect with the people and information they need to actually get their work done.
To truly enable a connected user experience, you have to create a single set of tools that integrate both productivity (the 'where' you work) and social tools (the 'how' you talk) into the same place."
The survey, which interviewed 352 decision makers and influencers from medium and large enterprises from across three sub-regions in Asia-Pacific - Asean (Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand), ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) and South Korea - highlighted a dramatic shift in priorities.
Organisations are looking to enterprise social technologies to gain competitive advantage, placing them well above investments in core networks, cloud computing and business intelligence, the survey notes.
Driving this trend in Asia-Pacific are several factors including a young workforce, early adoption of gadgets and social media, as well as cultural trends such as relationship-focused business dealings.
The Microsoft official notes that the rise of social media and networking is "profoundly" affecting the way that organisations conduct their business; and it is poised to be particularly impactful in Asia as enterprises encourage the sharing of ideas, conversations and collaboration, while empowering employees.
Globalisation is making Asian organisations not only more connected but also more integrated.
Asia's economy has grown tremendously since the introduction of the Internet in the late 1990s.
From 2007 to 2012, the growth in the number of Asia-Pacific Internet users has been unprecedented, rising from 418 million to over one billion.