Hi class. My name is Leo Bai from Accounting 626, section 2. Today I’ll be presenting to you the implications of Social networks and Web 2.0 technologies to accountants, managers and corporate exectutives
The agenda of the presentation will go as follows:I will first take you through a brief introduction on what Social networks and web 2.0 technologies are Then I will go into details about some of the specific benefits and unique opportunities being offered by Web 2.0Along with some challenges and drawbacks, major concerns over security and privacy, and ways to overcome these challenges
With the invention of the internet, Web 1.0 was born. Under this framework, a company can set up a website on the internet, in order to distribute information to consumers, Such as company history, information about its product and service offerings and financial performance. Under Web 1.0, there is little or no interactions between the customers and the website. The flow of information is one way.They key difference between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 is that communication of information is not one way anymore. Instead, communication is multiple ways, filled with user created data. I am sure many of you are familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Social networks are essentially a product of Web 2.0 technologies.Web 2.0 is important in the sense that it offers opportunities similar to those offered when the internet was invented. Companies that can capitalize on the opportunies offered by Web 2.0 will be successful going into the futureThose that don’t recognize the importance of Web 2.0 may experience significant difficulties in the future.
The existing CRM has many problems, because the flow of info usually occurs in a one-way format such as over the phone or face-to-face. Under this format, CRM doesn’t derive any added value besides solving customer’s problems. For example, imagine a scenario where a service representative is receiving an increasing number of calls related to a particular product. Under this scenario, the representative may or may not realize that the product has severe issues that should be addressed as soon as possible. Eventually, management may notice the problem from the records generated by the CRM system, and address it, but this will take some time.In this regard, Web 2.0 allows companies to address problems with its products a lot faster. For example, a forum can be set up and maintained by the company, where customers can openly express their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the products.Adidas launched a shoe product that was affected by an issue of quality, but thanks to the use of social networks, this problem was quickly addressed. In return, Adidas gained respect and good reputation from the customers.Another key success factor to CRM is the ability address customer requests as fast as possible. Web 2.0 is especially effective here because under a collaborative environment, problem from one customer can be answered by another customer that has experienced the same problem before. And all of this can occur in off-business hours. So now not only are the customer requests addressed faster, the service representatives will also have more time to address other customer requests.
The ability to advertise products and services will dictate the success of a companyIn this regard, Web 2.0 useful. The critical factor that determines the success or failure of a marketing campaign is whether or not the marketing campaign conveys the right messages for its intended audience. Under the traditional marketing methods such as TV or newspaper ads, a marketing campaign must assume a big, generic audience base and design the campaign to appeal to this audience base. The shortcomings associated are obvious: by assuming one generic audience, other smaller audience groups will be ignored and may not find the marketing messages appealing to their needs. Moreover, the campaign is based on assumptions of what would appeal to the generic audience, which may or may not be accurate in the first place. Under Web 2.0 however, a company can advertise for its products based on differing user needs and interests. For example, a company can gather critical information about its potential customers from Web 2.0 interface. Then based on the information gathered, the company can categorize its customers into diferent groups based on needs, and separately design marketing campaigns directed at the specific groups. In 2007, Target started a marking campaign on Facebook by creating a profile that covered the nuts and bolts of freshman’s jitters, and gave advice on a broad range of issues. The campaign was successful, resulting in increased sales and improved brand image.In terms of reshaping brand images, BoA and ING Direct have also adopted the social networks, to provide individualized help service and build consumer trust, which is critical to their successes
Now I will briefly talk about the impact of social networks to CAs and CA firms. Accountants and accounting firms are limited by professional standards, which prohibit the aggressive advertising of their services. This is usually a bottleneck in terms of growth for smaller firms, because they lack a cost effective medium to effectively advertise their services.This bottleneck problem can be addressed by using Web 2.0, by establishing a presence in the community and raise awareness, in order to attract more clients.As for accountants, social networks provide an alternative method of expanding their networks and advertising themselves. For example, social networking sites such as LinkedIn provides accountants with the opportunity to easily connect with other accountants, facilitating networking or even employment opportunities.
Web 2.0 also offers many benefits that can improve the internal operating efficiency of a company. In terms of hiring, 30 min interview, not enough information, information is limited. By use of social networks, hiring managers can acquire useful information that are otherwise not availableIn terms of innovation, An internal social network can serve as a channel for internal idea sharing which will spur innovative ideas in the process. Internal social network spur innovation from within, external social network can also result in innovation by taking in ideas that may not reside within the company.Adopt Web 2.0, employees can better collaborate on projects and share ideas quicker., and better collaboration on projects can result in faster project completions. Also useful is the fact that employees can voice their opinions about management or point out to current opreating inefficiencies, which will ultimately lead to increasing operating efficiency for the company as a whole
Web 2.0 projects will meanspendings and budgets, which have to the approved by managers and executives. However, it can be difficult to build direct links between social networks and improved financial performance. Because financial performance can be affected by many factors and it is usually difficult to isolate the individual effect of social networksAnother challenge is that Web 2.0 usually represents unknown waters for many companies. Going back to the example of Target, Walmart also launched a similar campaign in 2007 in hopes of replicating Target’s success. However, the Walmart campaign ended in a disaster because they limited comments from users, which is against the core principle behind social networks. Another potential drawback of a Web 2.0 platform is that people have the freedom to express their opinions and experiences associated with a particular product, both positive and negative ones. Adidas was able to channel its negative energies into positive ones, but failures to address these negative exp can result in damaged brand image, which will have long term nega effects.Other factors that are slowing the adoption of Web 2.0 include arguments such as Web 2.0 does not improve learning and innovation as much as predicted. Or the notion that internal social networks where employees can freely voice their opinions is a threat to management control.
In the implementation phase of Web 2.0, companies are mainly concerned over 2 areas, namely the security and privacy of their data. These are nonetheless very reasonable concerns, because a secure IT system is fundamental to the success of most companies and loss of private data may result in losses of competitive advantages or even lawsuits filed by the owners of the lost private dataIn terms of security, In 2008, an attack was launched through Facebook whereby an application prompts users to download seemingly legitimate programs that actually contain malicious adware. This is very troubling because these malicious programs can potentially paralyze a company’s IT system, and also because it seems like there are no stopping this, as these malicious apps are legitimate on the appearance.In terms of data privacy, both Facebook and Twitter had incidents where unauthorized outside parties gained access to the private data of users. To address the problem, government officials were involved and both Facebook and Twitter promised to close these loopholes. However, this doesn’t guarantee that future loopholes will not occur. For companies that have adopted these social networking sites for business, in the event of a data breach, unauthorized parties may now have access to sensitive inside information, financial data or even trade secrets.
The security and privacy risks previously mentioned can be addressed or at least be effectively managed.With the correct IT governance, such as user guidelines, solid security, and data access and management policies, companies can reduce the security risks associated with Web 2.0 and decrease the likelihood of being attacked by malicious apps. Going back to the malicious app incident connected with Facebook, employees can be properly trained and instructed to follow good user guidelines that prohibit them from downloading random apps from Facebook unrelated to workOn top of IT governance, the company can also utilize monitoring tools to ensure that guidelines are being followed properly. For example, companies can adopt an innovative monitoring tool that takes regular screen shots that can be stored and watched later in video-like format. This tool can be very useful to monitor employee usage of the social networks in order to spot activities that are misuse or non-compliant with IT policies in placeMost importantly, web 2.0 implementations must be well planned out. The plan must be based on an alignment of goals between the overall business and Web 2.0. The plan should clearly document the procedures involved in the implementation of Web 2.0 along with clear timelines. Also, the social networks must be actively maintained after the initial adoption, to achieve maximum intended effects.
To close the presentation, I would like to recommend the adoption of Web 2.0 in the workplace, as potential benefits can be significant and related risks are manageable.In addition, the low adoption rate in North America presents a unique opportunity for CAs and business leaders to seek early adoption of the Web 2.0 interfaces. Early adopters of Web 2.0 in North America may be able to reap the full benefits offered by Web 2.0, and translate these benefits into operating advantages and ultimately increased revenue and profits. Web 2.0 experts believe that Web 2.0 technologies and the internet are expected to be the medium over which businesses are expected to generate more revenue and become more profitable, I believe so as well.Thank you for listening
Social Networks / Web 2.0 Prepared by : Leo LisenBai ACC 626, Section 2
Brief Intro Marketing and CRM Internal Benefits Challenges and Drawbacks Security and Privacy Concerns Implementation – Overcome Challenges Closing Remarks Agenda
Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 Importance Opportunities Brief Intro
Problems with traditional CRM mediums Power of Web 2.0 technologies Address problems, fast – Adidas Collaboration Superior customer experience and satisfaction CRM
Customized Marketing Brand Building Target Bank of America and ING Direct Marketing
Low cost, effective marketing for small firms Networking and employment opportunities for CAs CAs and CA firms
Hiring Innovation Productivity and efficiency Internal Benefits
Difficulty linking the effectiveness of social networks and increased profits Web 2.0 – Unknown waters for many companies – failure of Walmart Potential for negative customer experiences Insignificant improvements in learning and innovation Threatens management control Challenges and Drawbacks
Importance of keeping IT systemsecure and data private Increasing attacks on social networking sites Malicious apps on Facebook Unauthorized access to data Facebook Twitter Security and Privacy Issues
IT governance Monitoring Alignment between goals of the business and Web 2.0 Detailed plan Dedication to maintenance Overcoming Challenges
Significant Benefits Risks can be reasonably managed Unique opportunities in North America, as adoption rates are low Potential for increased revenue and profits Closing Remarks