Emerging tech trends: Social, gamification and future of enterprise IT

Emerging tech trends and enterprise IT’s future

Consumerization isn't limited to mobile devices and cloud services. Social networking, games and other consumer technology are also making their way into the enterprise.

It’s important for today’s IT administrators to understand why employees want to turn to emerging technology trends, such as social collaboration and gamification, and their pros and cons in the enterprise. This guide has resources to help you in these areas. Learn how to choose the right social collaboration service, and find out how Microsoft Kinect and gamification might actually help make end users more productive.

Table of contents:

Social collaboration and social media

Social media tools shouldn’t be for socializing
If you want social media to work in your company, the tools you use have to be integrated with your existing systems. You can overdo social customer relationship management, for example, so make sure it complements, rather than overwhelms, the approaches you already use, rather than overwhelming them. Define your social strategy, and make sure you use social media tools that meet your needs.

Social collaboration tools: More than communication
Social media can help people communicate better in their personal lives, but it's still an emerging technology trend in the enterprise. Email isn't always the best way to distribute information, especially to mobile employees, so collaboration tools can step in and make communication easier. With news feeds, streams and other real-time communication, employees can be more productive and stay in the loop. But make sure you deploy platforms that employees want to use, and remember that enterprise social collaboration isn't right for every company or worker.

Social means business with new enterprise platforms
Wikis, blogs and intranets started the social trend, but today’s employees are more used to fun, sleek, easy-to-use options such as Twitter and Facebook. Organizations can update their collaboration platforms and use enterprise collaboration software to make employees more productive and engaged.

Choosing an enterprise collaboration platform
To pick the right social collaboration tools, consider which programs your organization already uses and how social capabilities can improve or extend them. If you figure that out first, you'll know exactly what to look for when you dive into the sea of enterprise collaboration platform vendors and products.

CIOs overestimate enterprise social media
Almost half of executives think that enterprise social media positively affects their organizations, but fewer than a third of employees agree. Why the divergence? Execs think social media will improve sales and productivity, but they're not the ones who have to use it. And they need to understand employees' workflows and needs: Throwing a new social media tool into the mix just because it's an emerging technology trend doesn't mean employees will use or like it.

Microsoft Kinect and other emerging technologies

Microsoft Kinect comes to PCs
It'll probably be a long time before enterprises adopt Microsoft Kinect for PCs, but the technology is available now and could have business use cases in the coming years. Its voice and gesture-based computing capabilities have the potential to affect how people work across a number of industries, including health care, manufacturing, education, advertising and retail. Because it's still an emerging technology trend, however, there are some kinks that could show up in the enterprise.

How Windows 8 and Microsoft Kinect could change IT
Many IT admins worry about the consumer technology that comes into the workplace, but Windows 8 and Kinect might actually improve security. Gesture-based authentication and facial recognition, for example, can make it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to corporate systems.

Consumerization, collaboration and gamification, oh my!
The emerging technology trends affecting the enterprise today can't be ignored. If anyone at your company uses a personal smartphone or tablet for work or goes around IT’s blocks to get work done, you're looking down the barrel of consumerization. Employees need to work together and share information wherever they are, and social collaboration offers effective new ways to do that. Gamification might be something you can adopt willingly, since many companies have seen improved productivity from making aspects of work more like a game.