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Social apps to take on a corporate flavour

Microscope contributor

The influence of consumer-focused technologies on business environments will continue to expand in 2010, albeit with more emphasis on providing business-tailored applications, according to communications experts.

The expansion of websites and applications not originally designed for business environments has been well-documented over the course of 2009, which witnessed a sudden explosion in popularity of Twitter and associated brands.

Twitter itself has seen some overflow into the channel, with vendors including Cisco and SAP seen as the biggest advocates.

“Social networking has massive acceptance in the consumer market, and there are already social networks, such as LinkedIn, that are great opportunities for businesses,” said Michael Calvert, UK and Ireland general manager at networking vendor Aastra, who predicted a need for more business-specific applications.

Marcus Hill, head of SI channels at Internet and communications service provider ntl:Telewest Business, said: “If you look at how Twitter has changed into an advertorial or advisory service, has to continue to ingress into the business space. In the end, consumer services will actually take on a more corporate look and feel.”

Much has been made of the entrance of people born since the early 1980s into the workforce, a trend that is now undeniable given 1980 is now practically 30 years ago, and Hill agreed that graduate intakes have forced firms to change their attitudes to remote working and social networking.

Hill added that young workers were increasingly distinguishing between personal and business use of social networks – perhaps driven by a succession of data loss scare stories – and taking care to lock down personal photos and so on.

“We find it is actually older team members who are leading the blending of consumer services with business ones,” he said.


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