The trend to use social software applications in companies is continuing. Almost 47 percent of firms in the sector service providers of the information society, such as ICT service providers and knowledge-intensive service providers, use social software applications. The share of service providers using, e.g., discussion forums, social networking services, wikis or weblogs has thus risen by eight percentage points since 2009. In May 2009, the share of companies in this sector incorporating social software into their business routine was about 39 percent, while it was only 32 percent in the previous year. These are the results of a survey among service providers of the information society conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in cooperation with Verband der Vereine Credit Reform, Neuss, in June 2010.
"ICT service providers continue to be at the top when it comes to using social software applications," says Miruna Sarbu, ZEW researcher in charge of the survey. "They increased their use of social software by eight percentage points between March 2009 and June 2010 and now have a share of 57 percent." Between March 2008 and March 2009, ICT service providers increased their share only from 45 percent to 49 percent.
Knowledge-intensive service providers on the other hand make less use of social software. Compared to March 2009, these firms have also increased their share by eight percentage points, but reach a total of only 44 percent. In the previous two years, these firms’ shares were at 36 percent in March 2009 and 29 percent in March 2008.
The Economic Survey Conducted by ZEW/Creditreform
About 900 businesses participate in this quarterly survey. The economic sector service providers of the information society consists of information and communication technology (ICT) service providers (software and IT services, ICT-specialised trade and telecommunication services) and knowledge-intensive service providers (tax consulting and accounting, business consulting, architectural offices, technical consulting and planning, research and development and advertising).
Comment on the Projection
To ensure representativeness of the analyses, ZEW projects the participants’ answers with the number of all businesses in the branch considered.
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