Many businesses have introduced a range of communication and presence tools – such as browser-based chat and video-conferencing or enterprise social networking in the form of solutions like Google+ – as by-product of moving to cloud computing for email and document collaboration. Because social computing usually wasn't the focus of their business case for investing in cloud computing services, few companies have put much effort into figuring out how to use these new social tools to work more effectively.
However, while social tools might be a novelty in the corporate world, they're extremely familiar to "Generation Y", the under-thirties who make up a growing proportion of the workforce. In fact, these younger employees – also known as the "Facebook Generation" – aren't just aware of social computing tools but typically prefer them to more traditional tools like email: they expect constant, direct and real-time communication with friends, family and, increasingly, colleagues.
So while businesses have so far largely ignored social computing tools at a corporate level, we expect to see younger staff drive their wider adoption within the enterprise over the course of 2013, simply by taking their personal habits into the business world and making these tools their first choice for collaboration with colleagues.