As the systems that run the way we work and live become smarter, the way people connect and communicate, find and share information, and perform everyday business tasks is changing in dramatic and dynamic ways.
Everywhere you look, new devices combined with social collaboration tools are transforming how work is done today — how information is shared, relationships are built, and decisions are made.
Gone are the days when a person had to be tied to a desk and chair in the office to get his or her work done, or when innovation was a guarded secret, with all of the novel ideas created in isolation.
We’re in a new era now, in which any person, any object, any process or service and any organization — large or small — can become digitally aware, connected and smart .
Thanks to clever social software tools that make collaboration happen easily and naturally, new delivery models such as cloud and mobile computing, and new ways of finding and sharing information, businesses are becoming social businesses — ones that are connected in a variety of ways, both inwardly and out.
For example, instead of simply pushing messages and offers out to the market, social businesses are creating back-and-forth dialogues with their customers through social tools, and are able to target the right content to the right customers using profile data from the Web and analytics.
This could enable a retail buyer to use seemingly unrelated purchases events to find an emerging trend in a product line . . .
an automated electronics assembly process to pull in the best parts, suppliers, and assemble expertise without disruption as market needs continuously change . . .
and an insurance firm to connect its independent agents and underwriters, helping them to reduce policy turnaround time from weeks to days.
In the same way, developers are using social software during the early stages of product design and development. User feedback from blogs, online forums, and other places saves them from costly design errors down the road.
There’s a potential treasure trove of information in all those messages being exchanged on social networks.
That’s why IBM has introduced new social analytics tools into its collaboration software – called “Connections – that is specifically designed to analyze that information, and make it easier for users to find people within or outside their organizations who might want or have relevant content to share.
Mobile devices equipped with new social networking software are becoming the great enablers of a social business, and vital business tools that allow workers to be more productive in more places because they can access mail, calendar, contacts, employee records and to-do lists anywhere in the world.
As our planet becomes smarter — more interconnected, instrumented, and intelligent — organizations are transforming their workplaces not only by connecting and collaborating in new ways, but also by unleashing the genius and creativity of the workforce itself.
Because when people have the resources they need and the freedom to use them, new ideas get shared, virtual communities thrive, collaboration gets energized, innovation blooms . . .
. . .and the productivity of the entire organization begins to flourish.
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