GDS International - CIO - Summit - Europe


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Understanding the New Social Workplace

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GDS International - CIO - Summit - Europe

  1. 1. enterprise social softwareEnterprise 2.0Understanding the New SocialWorkplaceMarch 2011 blueKiwi: transforming conversations into business actions
  2. 2. 2 Introduction Over the past few years Enterprise Social Networks have become a reality for many companies, and a growing preoccupation for the rest. What first appeared to be a fad limited to a few economic sectors is now becoming a generalized phenomenon throughout the business world. Many questions still remain, but the wheel is turning irreversibly towards change. A Nielsen survey from March 2009, for example, reveals that blogs and social networks have become the fourth most popular way to use the internet (66.8%), ahead even of email (65.1%) – and social networking is growing more than twice as fast as other uses. As for Facebook, it has moved beyond the stage of a youthful fad: fully a third of its users are between 35 and 49 years of age and another third are above the age of 50. All this represents a fabulous opportunity for companies, their employees, their brands and their products. In a global economy that is increasingly virtualized, a companys performance depends more than anything on its ability to mobilize its talents quickly and efficiently for sales or innovation, and to continuously reinvent itself to keep pace with market and social business change. Internal and external networking, cross-functional teamwork and knowledge sharing have become the primary drivers for growth, leading companies to profoundly rethink how they work and collaborate. The emergence of what was initially called "Web 2.0" and its resultant social media successes (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viadeo, etc.) has only served to underscore this need, revealing new "win-win" models for information sharing between individuals. However, while everyone agrees on the crucial need to share information more fluidly and capitalize on collective intelligence within the enterprise, companies are hesitant to make the leap, whether due to cultural resistance or residual doubts about the return on investment for this type of approach. Companies also need to be reassured that social software can deliver the level of security and visibility common with other enterprise applications – so that their data and interactions stay protected. The aim of this white paper is to help company executives better grasp the drivers and full impact of the changes underway and how enterprise social networks can be harnessed for greater business value.Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  3. 3. 3 I. The Changing Landscape of the Social Workplace The past twenty years have brought fundamental changes to our economy and to society in general. Businesses could view these trends as mere background noise for a long time – but now they permeate the social fabric to such an extent that they need to be dealt with head-on, as their impact is felt in every sphere – including in the new social workplace. To understand the fundamental shifts in this landscape, it is necessary to analyze its drivers (economic and social), the distribution and propagation model (via the Internet) and the changing norms of the participants (employees, customers and partners). 1. Economy: Knowledge and Personalization At the Forefront Accelerating speed of business in a globalized environment Companies expand, divide and merge as they pursue the goal of economic growth. They do business across continents, speak many languages and manage multiple sites and locations. While they generally have cross-corporate support functions (in finance, R&D, human resources, etc.), modern companies often find it necessary to replicate these at the local level too. This enables their widely dispersed business units and offices abroad to have the autonomy they need to pursue specific strategies in their regional market. Organizations thus need to pursue globalization and localization in concert. At the same time, companies also have to accelerate speed of business – often needing to respond in real time – especially when customer issues come up. Market shifts fueled by changes in consumer tastes and business requirements also occur in quicker cycles of days or weeks, instead of quarters and years. To deliver at these accelerated speeds, companies have to contend with typical barriers of managing a global organization. These common barriers include differences in time zones, language, culture, regulatory environments, product market needs – which all leads to specialized skills in a local market. While technology has helped bridge these enormous barriers and shortened reaction times, gaps remain in enabling the free flow of ideas, investments and resources. Traditional channels of communication no longer transmit information fast enough to provide a relevant response to internal and external demands from clients or suppliers in an acceptable timeframe. The new economy needs a communication paradigm that enables this level of real time information flow with the expected level of productivity, security and ease of use.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  4. 4. 4 A knowledge-based economy Globalization in itself is one of the key drivers of the broader transition from an industrial to a knowledge- based economy. This transition is further fueled by the continuously expanding service sector for which knowledge work and human capital are the key differentiators. Consequently, in today’s business environment – constant innovation is perhaps the only path to maintaining market leadership and profit margins.. Not surprisingly, in developed economies, more than 60% of employees belong to the category of "knowledge workers." The digitalization of data and processes supported by new technologies makes it hard to imagine any company functioning and surviving without these knowledge workers. A wave of new IT tools and technologies increase the speed and efficiency of task execution while reducing data processing complexity, but their real benefits lie elsewhere. More importantly, they unlock the potential of the human workforce like never before. The knowledge, expertise and ability of employees and other organizational stakeholders to find and process information and to apply it to designing and proposing solutions, are the raw materials that create the highest value today. Knowledge and expertise are scattered and diffused As we mentioned previously, the twin effects of globalization and localization make it impossible for one set of individuals, say in the corporate office, to accumulate all the skills and expertise in a given field. The knowledge capital is in fact spread throughout the company, with as many locations as there are employees, each individual possessing his or her own knowledge and past experiences. Despite the importance of these knowledge-based assets, few companies succeed in collectively leveraging them to make them accessible to others. Whether they are vertically managed or have a matrix structure, companies all face the same difficulty. They are designed to distribute information along predefined pathways confined within a hierarchical structure of business units, divisions, departments and teams. In contrast, the new economy not only needs information to flow up and downwards, but also transversally between employees regardless of any geographic, functional or organizational structure. The challenge here is to draw value from informal relations that are by nature related to a context and not to specific business processes.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  5. 5. 5 The demands of mass personalization completes the challenge Finally, the phenomenon of mass personalization that is characteristic of the knowledge-based economy further complicates the situation. In a service oriented economy, every customer interaction and external event is a specific case that requires a personalized response. This calls for an organizational model that is diametrically opposed to the traditional production model which was content to simply replicate the same action ad infinitum. Personalization of demand leads in turn to a discontinuity of production processes, work methods, and even strategy. While organizations continue to determine its employees’ goals, their mission is dictated moment by moment by their customers, whether internal or external. This is yet another new reality that is not well addressed by a top-down planning model. The real added value from employees thus comes from their management of exceptions that are more and more common as production shifts from manufactured goods to intellectual services. Companies need a framework and tools to help their employees meet these new requirements that are not imposed from above, but arise right where they are in the field through direct contact with customers and the need to satisfy their demands. Globalization requires cross-functional teamwork, optimal use of knowledge capital and networked communication. Mass personalization requires an organization that is better able to rapidly meet needs expressed on the ground. Each of these new demands requires that companies find new, more flexible work and communication methods – or see their pyramids crumble under the force of these new pressures.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  6. 6. 6 2. The Internet: Evolving from distribution to interaction From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 The Internet as we know it took its first steps in the 1960s, under a variety of names. But it wasnt until the arrival of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s that it became a broad reality and a true mass phenomenon over the ensuing decade. Yet, its original promise of providing a common platform for communication and interaction between users had not come to fruition. At that time, the web was still primarily a tool for distributing content, most often generated by professionals (companies, media), rarely updated, directed towards a passive audience. “Passive”, because they were essentially "receivers" with no opportunity to interact with either the content provider, or other users of the same media. This was simply a shift of traditional media to an online format, and it attracted neither the business nor the audience that had been predicted in the early days. The pivotal phase began when the use of the Internet appeared to be moving beyond a simple shift in habit, to a return to its original promise of being an interactive user platform where people could communicate, build content together, and leverage their relationships. In a word: the passive consumer gave way to a connected and interactive one. Tim OReilly famously coined the term "Web 2.0" in 2004, to designate this shift. Web 2.0: Core features The core features of Web 2.0 can be summarized as follows: • Technologies that allow information to be shared, reshaped, deconstructed and reconstructed for new uses (also known as a "remix" philosophy) • Nimble, connected, easy-to-use applications (with a focus on intuitive navigation) that encourage broad adoption, in particular among non-technophiles • New usage based on co- creation, interaction, networking, disintermediation of relationships and an aggregation of "weak links" • Availability of wireless broadband and mobile connectivity and devices, which have made the web a mass market productEnterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  7. 7. 7 Let’s examine next how Web 2.0 is reshaping the communication landscape and with it raising the stakes for businesses to get aligned with the needs for the new social workplace: The Web as a personal and social networking platform The web is now truly a platform, because we use it as a seamless extension of our personal and social network interactions. On the personal front, we can now publish information in any form – text, image, sound, video, etc. – and even design and modify it together. This information is not captive to its original publication location; it can be reused elsewhere, combined with other data, redirected and republished, all with simple tools that let everyone build their own "information supply chain". The information we want comes to us automatically without needing to spend hours searching for it. On the other hand, the web also uniquely enables information exchanges around a given topic, bringing together people who share the same interests and issues to progressively form “communities”. The multiplicity of exchanges within these communities allows each person to build his or her social network. Social networks are based on the recognition of each members qualities and on a relationship of trust, and can be used at any time to solicit an opinion, a recommendation or an invitation to participate in a joint project. All this is possible today, even when the members dont know each other in "the real world"! Social networks based on “informal connections" now coexist with our personal network of friends and acquaintances. Universal connectivity – anywhere, anytime Two factors that combine new technology and usage have contributed to the ongoing transformation: • Generalization of network access through the massive spread of smartphones and tablet computers has made remote working a concrete reality. • Connectivity is almost complete: wifi hotspots are widely available in urban locations, and if no open network can be found then the switch to a 3G or 4G mobile connectivity is seamless. It has become fast and easy to find information whenever we need it, on impulse, which facilitates the use of social networks based on a fluid exchange of information.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  8. 8. 8 Free flow of information and expertise Information on the web is distributed and circulates without barriers, is easy to locate, and is directly linked to experts in the field or people who share the same interests. Information no longer flows only top-down, but also moves horizontally: people can react to your idea and perhaps contribute to improving it. Access to your connections is immediate and continuous, as individuals extend their personal networks to new communities to enrich their information exchanges in new areas of interest, and to connect quickly with other users. The web today, connects all of us to information in a massive system of collective intelligence that instantly reconfigures itself with each new search or need that is expressed. The web in fact, has become a natural extension of human activity, so its mass adoption by users is of particular import. With user-friendly technology that no longer deters the uninitiated, Web 2.0 has had a massive impact on social behavior and brought on board a whole group of new users who didnt jump onto the Internet bandwagon at the start. Multiple implications for business The heightened use of information technologies in the personal sphere has extensive implications for business. For the first time, users have access to personal tools for working and collaborating that are much more effective and efficient than those they use professionally. And the consequences for companies are huge. Employees naturally want to use the same simple and efficient tools for interaction at work, which have been so productive and successful in their personal communications. Their individual performance is in fact, largely based on their ability to optimally use information and leverage their networks. If they cant access the technologies that make this possible, the resulting frustration is directly proportional to their productivity shortfall. Employees try to compensate for the inadequate solutions at their disposal in their workplace, by using the available mass market tools on the Internet for professional purposes. This poses a real danger to companies, which have no control over these infrastructures and their level of security. Access rights are generally managed by the employees themselves, posing a triple threat: they invite whomever they want; they may forget to close the account of a person who has left the company; and they exclude other legitimate participants either intentionally or because they arent simply aware of them. Many companies have faced situations in which they learn after the fact that mass market tools, like Facebook groups, had been used as communication platforms without their knowledge.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  9. 9. 9 A common response for companies is to block access to these tools from the workplace, but this is a feeble barrier when remote working and telecommuting is increasing and some employees manage these groups from home, outside their office hours. Also, this approach can have a very negative impact, particularly among younger workers (according to a survey by Telindus, 39% of 18-to-24-year-olds would consider leaving a company if access to websites like Facebook were blocked, and another 21% would have a negative image of an employer that did so) – and it doesnt address the real issue, which is to be able to collaborate and communicate more effectively. Companies cannot afford to stay on the sidelines. In doing so, they deprive themselves of the tools that will let them face the strategic challenges of sharing information and networked collaboration, they create a negative image among their employees, and they risk letting rogue initiatives develop outside their control. 3. Generation Y: The new social workforce Digital natives Youve read about them in the papers or online, maybe youve already met some inside your company. It may be that you have some at home with you – your own children! They are Generation Y, also known as digital natives. They were born after 1978, succeeding Generation X which had followed the Baby Boomers, and if they monopolize the attention of the media and business, its because of the novel personality traits that have transformed how they relate to society, business and work. Born of parents who were often overinvested in work, digital natives are individualist and resourceful, and dont intend to spend their lives earning a living. They are pragmatic, interested only in action and results, and reject anything they view as disconnected from reality. They have practically only known a world with the Internet. While the Internet is a tool for their elders, it is fully integrated into Gen-Y-ers’ lives - as a natural extension of their being. "Real" and "online" life blend together for this hyper-connected generation, for whom networking, continuous communication, and immediate results are a way of life.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  10. 10. 10 Generation Y are not on the Internet, they are part of it They are used to checking with their contacts for information, are mistrustful of "official statements" and "structured" thinking in business, politics, religion or social movements. They have been using multiple media at the same time from a very young age, becoming incessant multitaskers who can read a document, participate in a discussion on instant messaging, carry on a conversation and listen to music, all at the same time. Applied to the business world, this culture is disturbing in that it looks nothing like that of the preceding generation. A Gen-Y-er is a "surfer" in every sense of the word. They surf the web and social networks, moving fluidly from information to information and from contact to contact. They also surf through projects and ideas, too pragmatic to accept preconceived notions and able to continuously adapt to new situations or change strategies. Gen-Y-ers are impatient and want fast results. They get straight to the point, want to communicate instantly with the right person and get an immediate reply, and dont bother with procedures and intermediaries they see as a waste of time. Community, recommendation, curation Other than having no trepidation about being continuously connected (via smartphones, for example), digital natives are in a constant state of: • Community, in the sense of sharing ideas and feelings with other people (their personal and professional networks); • Recommendation, not hesitating to share their opinions based on personal experience; • Curation, by providing others with a selection of what seems relevant to them in an area they master. Everyone is an information hub, physical and virtual, both personally and professionally.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  11. 11. 11 Generation Y is always learning They are accustomed to a world that changes fast and to living in the flow of information, so to them it seems natural to have access to all information, without barriers. It is also important to them to be able to learn from their experiences, and they disengage quickly when they arent learning anything anymore. For them, there is no work without personal development, if possible while having fun. Their connected lifestyle makes them aware that progressing in a networked world means knowing what others are doing, and they require this same visibility inside the company. They believe that working together effectively is only possible when you know who else is involved and what theyre doing, and can interact directly with any of them. Last but not least, the balance between work and private life is non-negotiable. Generation Y wants flexible work hours, is more committed to achieving a goal than to having to be physically present in the company, and cant imagine dropping their private lives when they get to the office, given that their work invades their free time. They are pragmatic and, learning from their parents experiences, dont believe in promises or jobs for life. Generation Y doesnt hesitate to leave a job if they find a better one somewhere else, arent learning anything, feel a lack of trust, or dont feel "alive" at work. All this is apparent from the survey cited in the previous section. A new kind of employee and job seeker Whatever happens, before committing to a job Generation Y will have investigated how compatible the corporate culture is with their own expectations. They will have gathered plenty of background information through their networks and on the Internet. Generation Y are not just a new kind of employee, they are a new kind of job seeker that you have to (inter)act differently with, with greater transparency and engagement well in advance of the recruitment process. What are the consequences for companies that are seeing ever greater numbers of Gen-Y-ers on the job market? Businesses can choose one of two ways to deal with this phenomenon: The first is to exhaust themselves trying to get these new recruits to fit the existing mold – a short-sighted approach that only delays the inevitable. Compliance to existing norms usually leads to frustration, and its all a question of supply and demand. After all eventually, everyone knocking on your door will be from Generation Y. In the end, the question is not whether they will change the company, but rather when, and how quickly your organization is ready to make the most of it.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  12. 12. 12 The second is to facilitate the arrival of this generation, to prepare for the future, gain flexibility and adopt the networked culture that will drive future growth as quickly as possible. This is the chance for enterprises to take things in hand now, rather than going on the defensive. The challenge is obvious: You need to facilitate the integration of this new generation and leverage their abilities, with effective management that prevents diffusion of resources and ensure that their skills serve the companys objectives. But it’s not just Generation Y... Ascribing the wealth offered by a new "philosophy" and its tools to a single generation would be misplaced. Not all members of Generation Y are social media connoisseurs, though they do share other common traits of this new culture as described above. We cannot also neglect users from earlier generations who have decided to adopt these new technologies en masse, so as to transform their modes of communication, and be more comfortable with the new requirements of the information world. Notably, of the 500 million Facebook users as reported in a recent study, the average age of users (in the U.S) is 38, with 61% of users older than 35. It is the "50 and older" category that is registering the fastest growth, and pushing up the average age on social networks – so the qualities of Generation Y are already percolating to a majority of the existing workforce even before we know it.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  13. 13. 13 Source : It is these "promoters" who need to be identified and brought in to help all employees feel comfortable about these changes and not fall into the trap of thinking: "this isnt for me, its for all those new kids coming in."Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  14. 14. 14 2. Enterprise Social Networks: An Introduction Harnessing the changes in the social workplace requires a new breed of software platforms that can effectively translate the growing use of personal communication modes for enterprise use. Presented as a tool for change and adaptation to the new reality of the workplace, investment in enterprise social software is a very attractive idea for businesses. Such software provides the platform for building employee, customer and partner social communities, enabling open sharing, conversation and collaboration that is at the heart of enterprise 2.0. These communities are commonly called “enterprise social networks”. Deployment of enterprise social networks and adoption success in the organization require pre-planning and preparation. It goes without saying, that companies need security, visibility, and sufficient control to be able to make such profound decisions that fundamentally affects the culture of their organizations. First, organizations need to select the right functional areas where they see internal and external social collaboration making the biggest and most immediate impact. We discuss the real-life application and benefits of enterprise social networks in sales, marketing, human resources and innovation in our accompanying white papers. Second, they need to encourage the right organizational dynamics, evangelist roles and step-by step process to foster end user participation. We discuss the necessary steps to achieving success with enterprise social networks in a separate whitepaper. Third, once the best business case for enterprise social network adoption is chosen and planning is commenced, organizations need to select a flexible, intuitive and powerful enterprise social software platform that can integrate with their existing systems and business processes. With the right ingredients in place, companies are poised to reap the benefits of the new workplace leveraging enterprise social networks.Enterprise 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  15. 15. 15 Benefits of Enterprise Social Networks Enterprise social networks offer multiple benefits that are well aligned with the needs of the new social workplace - • Enhanced team work and collaboration among employees making them more productive and effective in getting work done faster • Lower sales and marketing costs and shorter time to revenue by breaking down barriers to information and enabling direct engagement with customers • Higher loyalty and positive relationships among all stakeholders be they employees, partners, customers or investors through open collaboration and information sharing • Greater innovation and creativity, making real contributors visible to everybody regardless of their position in the organizational hierarchy or location • A new mechanism for human resource departments to identify, assess and nurture organizational talent For more information on enterprise social software and how they are transforming conversations into business actions please visit 2.0Why do you need Enterprise Social Networks?Copyright 2011 blueKiwi Software
  16. 16. blueKiwi: transforming conversations into business actions.About blueKiwi SoftwareblueKiwi is the innovation leader in Enterprise Social Software. Our solutions enable hundreds of enterprises worldwide to engageand interact with their internal and external social networks in multiple business domains. Built from the ground up as a SaaSplatform, blueKiwi is powering social business in many Global 2000 companies. As a testament to its pioneering background andleadership, Gartner has consistently recognized blueKiwi as a visionary company since 2007.bluekiwi software 93 rue Vieille du Temple 75003 Paris France: +33 (0) 1 53 71 15 30 USA: (1) 703-651-2074 info@bluekiwi-software.comCopyright 2011 blueKiwi Software