To improve their chances of success, organizations need to define clear objectives for using ESN [Enterprise Social Network] software, and once it’s implemented, they must monitor and analyze usage in a way that gives them an idea of whether these goals are being met.

Moreover, organizations need to devote the necessary staff and resources not only to implement but also to maintain and manage ESN software, and also get executives involved in using it.

If implemented and used properly, ESN software can yield significant benefits to organizations, such as encouraging employees to share information, expertise and best practices; improve efficiency through better coordination and reduced duplication; and empowering employees by giving them a “voice” within the company.

“The organizations that have been successful at doing this are ones that are very focused on their culture: they understand it, they understand their shortcomings and are using these tools to solve these shortcomings,” Li said.

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