Businesses are advised to consider certain issues before investing in or developing internal social-networking tools. These include protecting personal intellectual property, as well as people's preference for using existing nonprofessional, external networks such as
With Facebook saying it
But the Gartner report says the hype around social networking doesn't necessarily mean it's a mature enough technology to make it a critical business requirement.
There is also little evidence that social networking will be as beneficial for businesses as other Web-based communications technology, such as instant messaging.
Ultimately, Gartner suggests, the value of social-networking technology comes from content rather than the product itself. The analysts recommend that IT departments think very carefully before committing to expensive "social-networking white elephants."
Earlier this month, business networking site LinkedIn also said it will
Tim Ferguson of Silicon.com reported from London.