Social media gains inroad to APAC firms

Social networking tools will become more important to companies in the Asia-Pacific region this year for marketing and recruitment purposes, new report states.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

No longer restricted as a consumer tool, social media will gain more relevance for Asia-Pacific companies in 2011 as organizations turn to these tools for marketing and recruitment purposes, said an analyst firm.

In a Wednesday prediction of 2011 IT priorities, XMG noted that social media is no longer a fad. In fact, social networks have changed the way people live as well as how they interact with businesses, said the report.

According to XMG, social media presence for Asia-Pacific companies will increase in 2011, with more than 30 percent of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) expected to use social networks for promotional purposes by year-end.

However, adoption of social media channels among large corporations in the region will be slower compared to their counterparts in North America and Europe. The region's enterprises are more traditional and conservative, it added.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, large Asia-Pacific companies will invest in research studies to understand the potential of social media channels before fully integrating them in their longer-term enterprise architecture, explained XMG.

XMG's findings echoed that of a Burson-Marsteller report released last year. The public relations agency found that 79 percent of global companies use social media platforms while only 40 percent of top Asia companies have a corporate social presence.

Apart from marketing purposes, social media use for scouting talent will increase as it has been proven to be a "cost effective" tool, said XMG. With Gen Y employees making up more than half of the workforce in Asia, the role of social media officers will evolve to become more mainstream human resource (HR) practitioners to reach out to employees and to monitor the company's social culture, added the report.

Cloudy outlook
Aside from social media, XMG noted that adoption of cloud computing is on the raise in the Asia-Pacific region. Cloud computing is a "bright spot" in the IT services sector, growing at five times the rate of the IT industry at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent from 2010 to 2012, said the report.

According to XMG, cloud service providers need to take note that integrating existing and cloud applications is "critical" as the region's companies have a mindset of leveraging and protecting their investments.

Education, customer experience and product bundling will be important in driving the uptake of cloud computing, it added.

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