Saturday, October 13, 2012

How social media will change the way we work

With 1 billion Facebook users and counting, end users have bought in on social media to keep up with friends.  So how would that change the way we work?

There are many changes to come.  But we are still far from seeing the full impact of social media to enterprise.  Here is where we are moving to and why the changes are coming slow.

1. Internal social platform to external social media

Once documents are shared internally, it's natural to expect sharing these documents externally.  When documents are shared outside the company, it creates interesting challenges such as moderating discussions among outside participants and collecting all feedback to measure the overall engagement level.

We are starting to see this happen.  Because sharing content with external social media is often managed by a small team, often social media marketing team within marketing organization, this is getting adopted faster by enterprise.  That is why there are so many social media marketing platforms, and many of them have been getting acquired by big players, for example Oracle acquiring Vitrue, Salesforce acquiring BuddyMedia, and Google acquiring WildFire.

Yet adoption has been slow because social media is used as communication channel to engage with things of interest, not as search tool.  Social media users are much more interested in interacting with friends than finding out the last minute travel deals for example.  While Facebook is trying to figure out the best way to monetize their traffic, marketers are still confused as to how to get their messages to social media users.

2. Social collaboration platform instead of group email

Average worker spends 28% of his time on doing email.  Information locked inside inbox are difficult to access from people outside the distribution list.  Because email was not created to encourage sharing and collaboration, social collaboration tool similar to Facebook will be adopted in place of email.  This does not mean social collaboration tools will replace email.  But it does mean organizations will use less email and encourage using collaboration tools.

This change has been coming slow because it impacts all departments within an organization.  IT, information governance, executive teams and employees must embrace the changes of using different communication medium.  It is a big change, hence has been slow in coming.

3. Information access control system

Once information is shared on enterprise social collaboration platform, it is important to control who can see the information.  Unlike public social media, enterprise has multiple layers of information access control policy.  These policies must be implemented on enterprise social to ensure that only those with appropriate access privilege can see the information.

Again, this involves many departments in an organization, and really difficult to come up with enterprise-wide policies to govern all types of information that can be shared on collaboration platform.  Although availability of SaaS enterprise social platform has made it easy to roll out, there are many challenges that enterprise must address before realizing the benefit of social collaboration.

Reaping the full benefit of social media within enterprise won't be smooth.
Make sure you understand internal challenges to rolling out social tools.

1 comment:

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