Social Enterprise Collaboration: Some Research Findings

Over on CBR (Computer Business Review), Tineka asks whether your company is social yet (or not)?

Not only has social media changed the way people communicate with family and friends, it has also impacted the workplace by affecting how employees interact with each other.

Email threads and more traditional ways of holding group discussions are increasingly viewed as ineffective, with industry leaders saying social collaboration tools offer an innovative way to share insight and information easily across a business.

Employees are now able to crowd-source ideas anywhere and anytime, massively increasing their productivity potential.

Tineka makes the following points:
– people are used to social tools in their personal lives, and want to use such tools at work.
– you need to do more than just deploying the technology.
– research by McKinsey says that there is a collective benefit of $1.3 trillion available through productivity gains by using social collaboration tools.
– research by IBM says that some companies using social tools are seeing benefits such as a 25% increase in business, or a 20% decrease in the time taken to manage projects.
– don’t do social and you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage.
– Philips implemented social collaboration tools, and achieved a number of benefits.
– social might kill email.
– there are lots of example of failure, and some of success.
– you need to integrate it into daily work, not provide something separate.
– HR has an important role to play.

Michael’s Comments
1. There are a lot of common themes in the “social business” space with what we have seen over the past 15 years with earlier attempts / systems / platforms that offered “collaboration” opportunities to organizations. Productivity benefits, reductions in project times, that adoption is important, it might (finally) kill email, yadda, yadda, yadda. The themes are the same, the recommendations are similar, the threats and fears are repeated.

2. Social inside the enterprise, then, is a continuation of a long tradition, rather than something fundamentally new. There are some new technological capabilities, some new societal support, and various vendors competing vigorously to rule this space … but the road to success remains unchanged.

3. For my best resources in this area, see my books, especially Collaboration Roadmap and User Adoption Strategies. Come March next year I’m working to add Doing Business with IBM Connections to that list.

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