Why are social networks important to business?
If you scratch the surface of any business, you’ll find two very
The formal organisation - the one that can be represented by the boxes of an org chart.
The informal organisation - the one shaped by the day-to-day interactions of employees – conversations in hallways or in airport lounges, exchanges of messages through email, IM and voicemail, conversations over a squash game .
Networks in your Organisation McKinsey Quarterly Harnessing the power of informal employee networks, 2007 Lowell L. Bryan, Eric Matson, and Leigh M. Weiss
Social Networks in your Organisation 1) I am linked to -> -> to you --->You are linked to her -> -> to him…
Social data in your Organisation 1 ) I share my data -> -> with you ---> -->You share your data -> ---> with him
How it works
People share objects | watch others
Connections through objects
Social info streams: emergence of popular, interesting items
Why should I care? Most corporate IT systems are geared to the needs of the formal organisation and ignore the informal one. In the “formal organisation” software like Oracle and SAP are “Enterprise Applications” that are designed through elaborate, top-down processes. The “informal organisation” is served, instead, by simpler, personal software … "comfort apps" like e-mail, IM, PowerPoint, Excel, and discussions by the coffee machine.
Knowledge is hard to replace Coca-Cola, for example, estimated that the departure of just one experienced marketing manager could cost millions of dollars due to the loss of critical marketing and client knowledge. More broadly, the costs of recruiting and filling vacancies, lost productivity, and training is estimated to range from 30% to 150% of an employee’s salary
“ The company essentially loses the ability to truly harness , capture , and learn from the knowledge its employees create”
The Value Proposition “ Social tools shape themselves to their users rather than forcing the users to adapt to preset specifications.” “ They do what corporate systems so often fail to do. They allow the sharing of valuable information easily.”
Employee profiles (internal version of MySpace) which provides the basics such as title, contact information, etc as well as video, notes, blog, roles, expertise, instant messaging, video messaging.
Social bookmarking: “We’re going to use social bookmarking to allow us to take the pulse of the organisation”
Significantly faster closing and integration of acquired companies such
as closing the WebEx acquisition in 8 days.
Reducing expenses and carbon footprint by reducing business travel.
Faster business unit development. Cisco grows one new emerging technology
business unit about every 3 months.
Wikis “A lot of the collaborative work that goes on amongst project teams has really benefited from the use of wikis and discussion forums; the ability to have people interact much more quickly, much more immediately on the web has been very powerful for us.”, Fred Killeen Web 2.0 +
“ No company will build or sustain a competitive advantage unless it capitalises on the combined power of individualised workers and social dynamics.” Gartner Group also predicts that Web 2.0 tools will become mainstream collaboration tools in at least 50% of companies by 2010.
Living together in harmony “ Intranet 1.0” is a centrally planned means of gaining access to approved documents, forms and applications. It’s a top-down communication system. “ Intranet 2.0” as a concept, is a series of social tools that support the spontaneous capture of corporate knowledge. It’s a bottom-up communication system.
To empower users to collaborate, retain, share, and re-surface
To provide a platform for individuals to share opinions and
To help streamline project management internally
To expose a new audience to a brand in a fresh and
To empower employees and customers to participate in the topic-
driven discussions that people are already having about your brand
Research. Evaluate blogs, wikis, forums and social bookmarking for your Enterprise. Conduct a trial using “free tools”, such as WordPress, or buy Community Server. Observe. Look at your business data trends. How is information stored and retrieved in your business? Take a hard look at your Intranet. Is it really serving the original business need? Think. Social Media tools, are not just another iteration of a collaboration suite. They bring in a fresh wave of thinking. Call To Action