Archives For social collaboration

As you may know, together with Emanuele Quintarelli we have developed in the last months the Social Collaboration Survey 2013. Here some insights about what we discovered in the last months.

Along with the many projects recently carried out in Italy, the attention on collaborative dynamics and best practices is evidenced by the numerous international reports (Gartner, Forrester, MIT, Deloitte, Capgemini, Dachis …) who analyze the phenomenon from a human, organizational and technological point of view. While interesting, such data have rarely focused on Italy, on its network of small and medium-sized enterprises with its specific socio-economic conditions. The Social Collaboration Survey 2013, conducted by Stefano Besana and Emanuele Quintarelli, finally fills this gap by mapping collaborative practices and bringing to light their secrets and strategies for success.

Carried out online from July to September 2013, the Social Collaboration Survey has involved more than 300 Italian companies in an unprecedented X-ray analysis on 4 collaboration axes: culture, organization and processes, technology, measurement.
Among the main dimensions analyzed:
  • Relevance: To what extent is collaboration considered as a strategic topic both today and in the near future?
  • Drivers: What are the business drivers that lead companies to introduce tools and participatory approaches?
  • Sponsors: Which departments have the responsibility to launch and / or support collaborative initiatives?
  • Maturity: At what level of maturity are companies in our country?
  • Budget: How large are the available budgets and how are they spent among the different areas of the project?
  • Measurement: Which performance indicators and metrics are in place and how much is performance measurement already an integral part of existing initiatives?
  • Best & worst practices: Which strategies have been particularly effective in achieving high levels of adoption and what is important to avoid?
  • Processes: How deeply is collaboration intertwined into business processes?
  • Tools: Which tools are most often used by employees?

The results of Social Collaboration Survey 2013 underline that:

Collaboration is much more than a fad. The importance that companies assign to it is high and most likely to grow over the next three years up to 75% of the sample.

Collaboration generates value for the company. A targeted deployment of social platforms increases the efficiency of the company (43%), facilitates knowledge reuse (40%), improves project coordination (30%) and allows employees to stay up to date on what is done by their colleagues (30%).

Without adoption there is no return. Although it cannot be considered the end goal, pervasive adoption of new ways of working is instrumental to materialize the economic returns expected by management. For the majority of respondents, this still doesn’t happen, since only a small percentage of employees (<30%) is already involved in 2.0 tools. Less than 10% of companies have instead reached the milestone of almost complete adoption (>75% of employees).

Top Management sponsorizes the initiative. Even with bottom-up initiatives, real change requires a high level of sponsorship and a strong buy-in from the top management (70% vs. 34%).

No orphans. A careful, continuous and qualified cultivation is certainly not optional for those who aim to conquer the entire company. Successful projects show a lack of resources 5 times less (9% vs. 49%) than less mature initiatives.

Budget for change. Although still limited, the investment on collaboration grows hand in hand with its importance. The lack of budget (less than 10K Euro) is much rarer (36% vs. 64%) for the firms with proven experience on collaboration. This budget is also spent less on technology and more on people and strategy.

Measure to ROI. Measurement is correlated to success. Successful projects have metrics in plance 2 times more than others (91% vs 50%). More than participation metrics, business KPIs are core inthe most advanced projects (61% vs 22%).

A more collaborative culture. Large companies are more willing to recognize the value of collaboration (82% vs. 70% in 3 years).

More focus on business needs. Bigger firms have stakeholders most often positioned in specific units such as Innovation, HR, Customer Support, Training and Education.

ROI as the main barrier. Apart from the overall lack of understanding of the potential of collaboration by the top management (50%), the most clear resistance in the large company is the difficulty of measuring the return on investment or the impact of intangible benefits (49%). In smaller companies it is rather the culture to represent the most obvious obstacle (58%).

For more information visit:

We just published some excerpts and insights from our Social Collaboration Survey.
Here you can find more information about what we discovered

In a connected and digital society, expectations and behaviors individuals expose are everyday more influenced by the weight of the communities they belong to. Well beyond the personal dimension, this same social capital is now making its way into organizations, changing work practices, engagement mechanisms and even the drivers behind firms’ existence.

The Social Collaboration Survey 2013 analyses connection, communication, motivation and sharing dynamics among employees to surface the business potential, barriers and acceleration factors towards a new idea of firm. One that is able to address the huge economic challenges of the coming years.

To us, Social Collaboration is

A set of strategies, processes, behaviors and digital platforms that enable groups of individuals inside the organization to connect, interact, share information and work towards a common business goal

With the hope that this study will help in proving the value Social Collaboration can unlock, increasing the awareness between senior managers, identifying effective roll-out strategies, discovering the most impacted business processes, understanding how various organizational characteristics influence project outcomes.

The first quantitative study on the maturity level, the potential, the barriers and successful strategies for Social Enterprise initiatives. While conducted in Italy, its results seem to resonate very well with European and non European countries, as verified by presenting them at the recent Enterprise 2.0 Summit Paris


  • Online survey between July – Sept 2013 on 300 italian companies, both large and small, across major sectors
  • The study has addressed culture, organization, processes, technology, measurement to provide a 360° perspective on the state of enterprise collaboration.

Main dimensions analyzed

  • Importance
  • Business drivers
  • Internal sponsors
  • Available budget
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Integration with processes
  • Organizational maturity
  • Best and worst practice in top performers
  • Adoption of collaborative tools

Da qualche mese ci siamo concentrati – come ben sapete – nella definizione del futuro della collaborazione nelle aziende del nostro paese. Lo studio (54 pagine di approfondimenti, spunti e grafici) – lo trovate, come ampiamente detto qui: Disponibile in modo gratuito nell’intenzione di aumentare la consapevolezza sui nostri temi anche in questo paese.
Da poche ore è online anche uno studio di Deloitte realizzato per Google titolato: “Digital Collaboration. Delivering Innovation, productivity and happiness”. 

Ci sono però alcune differenze sostanziali che vorrei rimarcare e alcuni dati interessanti che emergono in modo interessante da entrambe le analisi.
Cerchiamo di approfondire.

Di sicuro ciò che emerge è che la dimensione della collaborazione in azienda è un asset fondamentale, trasversale e che promette di rappresentare una delle prossime sfide per le organizzazioni di tutte le dimensioni e industry, come a dire: collaborare o sparire.


La collaborazione all’interno delle aziende è in grado non solo di migliorare il modo in cui le persone lavorano e di generare maggiori vantaggi per l’ecosistema aziendale (migliorando efficienza, servizio al cliente, capacità di fare innovazione, supporto e tanti altri processi aziendali) ma anche di rendere le persone più motivate, di migliorare la comunicazione tra dipendenti e di intensificare, in un certo senso,anche il benessere sul posto di lavoro.

Rispetto alla dimensione tecnologica ancora molto è, però, il lavoro da fare.
Dato trasversale che emerge dall’analisi di Deloitte e dalla nostra.


Qui sotto invece la nostra analisi sulle medesime dimensioni e sull’uso delle tecnologie in contesti collaborativi


E’ tuttavia sulla dimensione culturale il problema maggiore nell’adozione di processi di questo tipo. Ed è necessario fare una distinzione anche rispetto al come viene analizzata la social collaboration all’interno delle aziende.

La dimensione individuale, di come cioè la persona utilizza “nel suo piccolo” le tecnologie di collaborazione e digitali all’interno del contesto lavorativo, è sì importante, ma non sufficiente di per sé a spiegare correttamente la complessità degli attori in gioco.

E’ – infatti – necessario adottare differenti angolature per leggere il problema soprattutto rispetto a come la collaborazione interna alle organizzazioni può effettivamente impattare e modificare processi chiave per le aziende.
In che modo cioè questo modello e questo tipo di tecnologia riesce a cambiare il modo in cui le persone sono chiamate a lavorare.
Dimensione alla quale noi abbiamo dato molto peso all’interno della nostra analisi e che emerge in modo consistente da alcune grafiche realizzate, come quella che riporto qui:


Di sicuro è vero quanto detto da Deloitte:

We are not suggesting that organisations embark on wholesale, top to bottom programmes to redesign around them, merely that collaboration tools are moved from the box marked “nice to have”, to the one marked “core applications”.

Si tratta quindi di andare davvero in profondità del processo di trasformazione e capire come sia possibile migliorare le organizzazioni in cui spendiamo buona parte della nostra vita (non solo lavorativa).

Tanto simili i titoli quanto distanti gli approcci, a testimonianza di come lo stesso tema possa essere declinato in modalità completamente differenti.
Qui siamo, quasi, a un approccio quasi antitetico rispetto al nostro. Una indagine analizza l’uso individuale che le persone fanno della tecnologia, l’altra l’uso organizzativo, con le ricadute e con i benefici in termini di processi aziendali core.
Maggiore focus – anche come è normale che sia – per la tecnologia nell’analisi di Deloitte, tecnologia che sappiamo essere fondamentale ma non indispensabile nel processo di trasformazione e che – anzi – può rappresentare un ostacolo se non correttamente declinata e calata nel contesto organizzativo a partire dalle esigenze delle persone e dagli obiettivi di business che si vogliono ottenere.

E’ quindi necessario un approccio maggiormente olistico che riesca a tenere insieme tutti i pezzi: dalla dimensione tecnologica a quella organizzativa, dai bisogni dell’individuo a quelli dell’azienda, dalla soddisfazione del singolo alla generazione di valore per tutto l’ecosistema dell’impresa. 

Il cambiamento non può che partire dalle persone per le persone.