Major trends shaping social business

  • Social business tools will soon find their way into all parts of an organization
  • ‘All employees must be exposed to basic social media training and education’

Major trends shaping social business
A PANEL discussion on the first day of the IBM Connect 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida highlighted some major trends which would define social business this year and beyond.
 
The panel included Sandy Carter (pic, center), vice president of Social Business Sales & Evangelist at IBM and Beverly Macy (right), chief executive officer of Gravity Summit LLC; and was moderated by Mark Fidelman (left), chief executive officer of social business agency Evolve!
 
The panelists agreed that the use of social business tools, while traditionally championed by departments such as sales and marketing, would soon find its way into other parts of an organization.
 
“Social is moving into intellectual capital, with the application of social in areas such as compliance, so we will soon see the embedding of social layers into all these business processes,” said Carter.
 
Macy noted that the concept of every functional area of business being affected by social was a “big pill for companies to swallow.” However, its entry into legal, finance, HR (human resource) and R&D (research and development) was only a matter of time.
 
“Companies have to start thinking about policies for engagement both external and internal. How would employees engage with each other on this new social platform?” she said.
 
Carter added that 15% of employees influence what the rest of the staff think, making it imperative for management to reach out and engage.
 
Another trend was social business architecture and alignment. According to Macy, cross-functional social teams need to construct the new ‘social architecture.’
 
“This includes establishing policies and procedures, rules of engagement, communications, education, monitoring, and departmental integration,” she said.
 
“Things such as creating and collaborating or advocating its use are the fun part of social business. This is the heavy lifting portion and is especially difficult for large organizations to change entrenched old school culture to accept social,” Macy added.
 
She said that it is a change management challenge for companies and begins with education, urging organizations to take social education seriously.
 
“All employees must be exposed to basic social media training and education to attain a knowledge baseline in the organization,” she said.

Carter also shared that 57% of social business attempts fail due to lack of adoption and pointed to IBM’s own Social Business Agenda methodology as a starting point for enterprises to assess their first foray.
 
It includes:
 
Align organizational goals and culture
Gain social trust
Engage through experiences
Network your business processes
Design for reputation and risk management
Analyze your data
 
Gabey Goh reports from IBM Connect 2013 in Orlando, Florida, at the invitation of IBM.
 
IBM Connect 2013:

IBM Connect 2013: Day 1 round-up
 
The driving power of big data for social business

IBM confident Connections can vie against nimble start-ups

IBM boosts Connections portfolio

 
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Social media and business: It’s about people, people   
 
 
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