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 improve e-mail usage so that it is not a drag on productivity. And yes, social tools can help with that. That goal, however, will never be achieved unless the firm puts in place a strategy with plans and guidelines for effectively mitigating e-mail stresses through social tools.
By strategy I mean a well-considered plan for selecting, deploying, managing, and educating users on the technology that will support social working activities. Social software options (e.g., vendors, tools, cloud, on-premise) options can become overwhelming very quickly. A good strategy considers the different options, how the business works, and then gauges success through identifiable metrics and milestones. It also means doing a fair amount of homework on the technology state, corporate governance, internal communications, cost factors, and operational requirements for deploying different options. Assessing this information and building a strategy that addresses these factors of the business not only aids in making decisions but also helps to identify viable solutions and (hopefully) documents the rationale for those decisions.
Why is this necessary? Because, like anything else in business, times and technology change. If the firm knows why it chose something in the first place, and documented what was successful and what failed, it will be a lot easier to modify and keep up with new trends as they come along. For example, knowing why the firm chose an on-premise solution over cloud-based solution is valuable information, especially if the reasons, cost, and rationale for that choice are documented and the plan is clearly defined on paper. It becomes much easier to recalibrate choices or make changes should a compelling reason for one choice become obsolete. Going back to the example, subsequent network upgrades might cloud-based solutions easier to support and more cost effective, hence the firm can quickly revisit the old rationale and decide if it applies any longer.
Strategies also help to communicate to the business and executives the nature of social software and that it takes time for success. Documenting the plan for development, deployment, and success metrics for social in business helps non-technical colleagues understand the cultural and working shifts that come with social software. It becomes much easier for the business to support new technology efforts if they know what to expect and when.
We all know that a good strategy and plan makes life easier with fewer gotchas when it comes to deployment. It can be hard to reign in enthusiasm for something new that will solve the “big” issues, but it’s worth the effort to take the time for strategy. No matter what the strategy is, the firm is better off with one. Even if the strategy is to let things grow organically and ad hoc, at least the consideration of the risks have been addressed, communicated and documented. What’s not to like about that?
Wed, Apr 4th 2012 6:24p Karen Hobert Consumers really do care about their privacy, according to a Consumer Reports survey: According to a Consumer Reports press release, the national survey found that 71% of respondents said they were very concerned about companies selling or sharing their information about them without their permission. Another 65% of smartphone owners don't like that apps can access their contacts, photos, locations and other data without permission from them. Who knew? ;-) [read] Keywords: blogger
Social in Business: Rubber meet Road
Fri, Mar 16th 2012 11:44a 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 improve e-mail usa [read] Keywords: blogger
Enterprise Social Networking is More Than Facebook Behind a Firewall
Thu, Mar 8th 2012 1:04p Karen Hobert More input from Brian Solis at Altimeter Group on the "you" in social in business: Everything you see in social networks is unique to you because you are at the center of the entire experience. This is why I lovingly refer to social media as the Egosystem. By design, everything revolves around you. Your friends, co-workers, the businesses and organizations you support, are linked to by you. You have become the ringmaster of your personal connectivity and in many ways, serve as the IT departmen [read] Keywords: blogger
Social in Business: What are we doing here anyway?
Thu, Mar 8th 2012 11:04a 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 second 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 of those posts in thi [read] Keywords: blogger
Oliver Marks, ZDNet: It's the People, Stupid
Fri, Mar 2nd 2012 1:24p Karen Hobert Another point of view on the people factor of social (or collaboration) in enterprise: There’s plenty of great online and mobile technology available across a wide range of price points for small & medium businesses right up to global enterprises, but none of them will be of much use without successfully motivating your prospective participants to start interacting through these channels Read full article here: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/collaboration/its-the-people-stupid/2361 [read] Keywords: collaboration