By Daniel Hunter

Demand for business platforms which contain Facebook-style social networking features is on the increase, a Citrix-commissioned YouGov survey has shown.

Almost half (47%) of more than 200 senior UK decision-makers polled confirmed that their organisations already use some form of social collaboration technology. The main reasons for the uptake included a rise in flexible working opportunities (12%) and the need to work remotely with partners, customers and third-party contingent workers such as contractors and freelancers (18%).

Other factors included falling technologies costs (9%) and improved features such as more intuitive user interfaces (15%).

Just like social media tools, social media-style collaboration platforms enable users to post statuses, make comments, ‘like’ each other’s posts and share files, with the business itself choosing how to structure the format of the interactions. Conveniently, conversations are stored in the context of the project being discussed, enabling everyone to join in.

Andy Levey, senior manager of new media and analytics at Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas chose the Citrix Podio social collaboration tool for use within his marketing team.

“What attracted us to Podio was that it put everything in one place and it was something you could fully customise,” he said.

“It wasn’t just a project management system — it was a project management system for our needs. No two projects are the same, and it’s really cool as the project manager can build in different aspects in different apps on the Podio platform.”

Commenting on Cirque du Soleil’s experience and the research findings, Andrew Millard, senior director marketing, EMEA, Citrix SaaS, said: “Rather than working in isolation, using business-oriented social technologies such as Citrix Podio, professionals can instantly connect and get the context they need on projects, tasks, business processes and everyday workflows outside of an organised meeting setting, enabling them to respond quicker and make decisions even faster.”

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