For the last 6 months I’ve been having regular discussions with Bruce Elgort on the subject of Social Software in business. Bruce is in the business of helping companies collect and build ideas. The firm he co-founded, Elguji, is, as the web site masthead says, “Helping Companies Innovate” by offering tools (such as its best-selling IdeaJam) that facilitate collaboration to effectively bring new ideas to market. Together we’ve been looking at the ins-an-outs of deploying social media in a business environment and the earmarks of success. Long story short, we decided to put some of our thoughts down in prose and broadcast it to our readers in a series of blog posts on Social in Business.
Just to be clear, you may have read my recent posts about IBM’s Social Business Gambit and my thoughts about IBM’s new social approach to the collaboration and communications market. These posts are not about that, instead, they are focused on approaches and strategies that businesses can develop as they explore social media in the business environment.
Social in Business Today
Enterprise IT is beginning to move into a formulation phase in the evolution of social tools in business. Recent presentations by research analysts (e.g., Gartner, Forester) and vendors (e.g., IBM) are moving from the question of “What is Social?” to the discussion of “Strategies for Social.” This new conversation indicates that customers are looking beyond the fad and considering how social within the organization might impact them.
The perspective is also shifting from external to internal social. If we were to poll most executives on what social is we'd likely get more of an external facing response, such as “brand building” or “customer interfacing”. But as Gartner points out in a recent webinar, “Taking a Strategic Approach Social Media”, there are at least 6 opportunities for what Gartner calls Mass Collaboration by using social inside the business. That list includes:
Gartner also notes that oftentimes when a firm engages in social initiatives, the projects typically take advantage of more than one of these opportunities. Rightfully so, once tools are in place for doing one thing they invariably support other activities. The trick is to identify the most valuable opportunities for the firm and foster their success.
The Mission: Build a Strategy
Agility and versatility in IT environment is the new mission of the IT Operations Manager who is becoming more a solutions architect than an implementer. IBM’s last three annual CIO studies note that along with cost savings innovation is a priority for most organizations. So cost saving and innovation are not mutually exclusive. CIOs see IT delivery as having it all. As Bruce asked me how does the director of it operations do it? How do they keep up?
Overall managers, business and IT, need to consider all the options for social in the business and design a strategy to be successful within the parameters of their business. A strategy will help the organization to understand what needs to be done, how to choose the technologies it will deploy, and guide decision-making. In agile companies strategies are organic and evolve informing modifications while the firm’s needs change. Strategies also serve as an anchor for making sound decisions. If certain assumptions and rational were used to make one decision they can likely be used or modified for future decisions.
More to Come…
We’ll be posting more of these types of topics in the upcoming weeks. We hope these blogs will get you thinking more about the things that we are concerned about. We think the combination of the Elguji and Top Dog practice and strategic market knowledge is a great combination to help you to kick-start your social in business strategies.
About Karen Hobert
Karen is an IT industry research analyst focused on communication, collaboration, content management and social software technologies. She offers over 23 years of hands-on and market expertise to enterprises planning, designing, and deploying shared information systems. You can see more of her thoughts at Karen Hobert's Connecting Dots blog.
Announcing a new version of IQJam
Mon, Nov 26th 2012 9:34a Bruce Elgort We are excited to announce that a new version of our IQJam software for IBM Notes and Domino environments will be released on Monday, December 3rd, 2012. IQJam is powered by IBM's "XPages" technology. Here is what's new in this version:
New Features Added
Added a "Terms and Conditions" page to be displayed and accepted prior to a person using IQJam. Enable this feature in the Control Panel.
Added the ability to have the RSS feeds enabled or disabled.
Added the ability to have the [read] Keywords: domino
Meet Elguji Partner Centric Fusion
Mon, Oct 29th 2012 10:06a Bruce Elgort Elguji is proud to announce that Centric Fusion located in Ontario, Canada is now an authorized Elguji Partner. We have worked with Ryan Hosford, Centric Fusion's President for many years in his various roles with IBM Partners and in the IBM community. We couldn't agree more with as what is stated by one of his customers:
"I have known Ryan for a number of years now and have worked closely with him in the Lotus Notes/Domino spectrum. He balances a level of professionalism with a laid [read] Keywords: domino
IBM's Rational Software Division Chooses Elguji for their "Jazz Plan Jam"
Thu, May 24th 2012 12:32p Bruce Elgort IBM's Rational Software division in cooperation with IBM's developerWorks has selected Elguji's IdeaJam Cloud for their "Jazz Plan Jam". The Plan Jam (https://jazz.ideajam.net) will commence on May 30th, and run through June 6th. Pre-registration is now open.
From the Jazz.net Blog:
Well then, I’m happy to announce our first ever Jazz Plan Jam, which begins on May 30. Together with our developerWorks colleagues, we’re trying something new as part of the planning for our nex [read] Keywords: ibm
Social in Business: Rubber meet Road
Wed, Mar 14th 2012 11:52a Karen Hobert In this next installment of Social in Business we focus on Strategy.
Hopefully the thesis of this post shouldn’t knock your socks off; in a nutshell, businesses need a social software strategy in order for the social in business to be successful at the firm.
Want to reach the holy grail of an e-mail free working environment? In reality what you’ll likely find, especially if you do the strategy legwork, is that the goal is not getting rid of e-mail. Rather, the goal is to [read] Keywords: collaboration
Social in Business: What are we doing here anyway?
Wed, Mar 7th 2012 8:04p Karen Hobert This is the third post in the Top Dog/Elguji Social in Business blog series. The first post was entitled "Social in Business: What we are talking about" and the secon d was entitled "Social in Business: Build it and they will come (?)".
Today we focus on Objectives.
So if you’ve followed my blog (or other similar minded bloggers) you’ve likely come across one of my occasional rants about the pitfalls of buying technology for technology’s sake. This is sort of one [read] Keywords: collaboration
IdeaJam V1.9.1 is now available
Mon, Feb 20th 2012 4:26p Bruce Elgort We are happy to announce that IdeaJam V1.9.1 is now available for download. Elguji customers with active maintenance and support agreements can download this version at http://elguji.com/download. The release notes for IdeaJam V1.9.1 are also available.
We also have evaluation versions of IdeaJam V1.9.1 also available. Interested? Drop me an email or feel free to fill out this short form. [read] Keywords: notes