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 of those posts in this installment of “Social in Business”, Objective.
It’s hard to pick a technology, even an everything-including-the-kitchen-sink type of technology as social software, if you don’t know what you need it for. Actually one of the drawbacks of technologies that offer many options, such as social software, is that it is the potential answer to many issues. Vendor’s sales and marketing like the Swiss Army Knife utility of social software because they can answer “yes” to many customer needs but it makes things that much harder to for the customer to figure out if it really needs the product or not. More specifically, with so many options it can be very hard to identify which parts of the product offer the most value to customer’s business.
Who knew the toothpick on the Swiss Army knife would end up being so handy? Taking the Swiss Army knife analogy a bit further, today there are many versions of the renowned knife on the market that customer’s really need to know what they want to carry around in their pockets and what is likely to be most useful; corkscrew or none? For me a corkscrew-less version would be virtually useless. And what about the semi-retired boy scout who might benefit more with a Leatherman. It’s all a matter of knowing which features will serve the greatest purpose for the unique needs of the customer. Regardless of which model the customer chooses, they will likely use some tools in the kit more than others depending on their needs.
The same applies when choosing social software for enterprises. Much depends on the firm’s needs and how it operates. In other words, if a firm has a strong hierarchy with lots of structure and formalized ways of completing work its social software needs are likely to be different from a de-centralized, cross-organizational firm that functions in more organic ways. Both are viable organizations but they have very different objectives and expectations for the social software technologies that they employ.
Before picking a specific social software technology, and more specifically a vendor, enterprises should look at the objectives for the technology. If it turns out that there are many objectives, pick the objectives that will provide the most value to the firm. Make these the leading objectives for the technology to solve and focus on how to achieve them. Some may be solved without any technology or simply by improving on existing technologies. But the key idea is that the firm must know what it needs to work on before picking a tool or technology.
Identifying the leading objectives for social software in the enterprise and how to meet them cannot be done in an IT vacuum and must include input from the business and operational sides of the firm. This will ensure greater success and adoption when the business is part of creating the solution. It is vital for enterprises to understand the working culture, needs, and goals for the social technologies they want to deploy prior to choosing which one to buy. Otherwise they might just end up with a giant, expensive brick in their pockets.
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