5 Business Challenges to Beat with Enterprise Social


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Why aren’t organizations reaping all the benefits of collaboration platforms? Enterprise collaboration practices and solutions need to address specific needs or pain points within the organization. If they are integrated for one feature alone, you may not get the adoption you expect.

Download “5 Business Challenges to Beat With Enterprise Social” to learn these tips for creating a productive, connected workforce and overcome common pitfalls that are holding your competitors back.

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5 Business Challenges to Beat with Enterprise Social

  1. 1. Business Challenges to Beat With Enterprise Social5
  2. 2. 5 business challenges to beat with enterprise social Forrester Research estimates that for nearly two-thirds of organizations, enterprise collaboration technologies aren’t living up to their full potential. In “The State of Collaboration Software Implementations: 2011,” Forrester senior analyst TJ Keitt reports that while collaboration tools are indeed reducing travel expenses and improving corporate communications, other would-be benefits like increased innovation, faster time to market, and employee productivity or satisfaction are proving less tangible. Why aren’t organizations reaping all the benefits of enterprise social? The answer lies in the fact that there are multiple needs or pain points within an organization. If collaboration tools are integrated for one feature alone, you may not see the adoption you expected, or you’ll end up with a very expensive content management or microblogging system. Distributed and increasingly mobile teams, changing business models, and the need to effectively motivate and sustain talent are some of the more common challenges organizations face today. Operational processes and technology can also affect collaboration. Information overload, lack of integration between everyday business technologies, and security top the list of growing concerns around knowledge management and collaboration. In this paper, we’ll examine some of the limitations which prevent organizations from working more effectively, and discuss the challenges—both cultural and technical—that need to be addressed to achieve the genuine transformation that successful enterprise collaboration can enable. 1
  3. 3. Challenge #1: Geographically distributed and mobile teams It’s thought that the larger and more widespread the organization, the harder it is for employees to share information beyond their immediate circle of co-workers. But in fact many small and mid-sized companies face the same challenge. Departments, divisions and subsidiaries are often siloed from one another—either physically or through their technology. More and more employees are working remotely 
and are increasingly dependent on 
mobile devices. Today’s employee needs access 
to business information anywhere, anytime. According Forrester’s TJ Keitt, more than a third of enterprise employees are working outside the firewall and need tools that keep them connected with their peers and business applications. Companies with widely distributed and/or mobile workforces need collaborative tools that improve communication across different geographies and time zones. But, they also need applications that are always “in sync” and available on any device so they can get the knowledge they need and engage with customers or colleagues whenever and however they want. “ If HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more profitable.”—Lew Platt, former CEO of HP 2
  4. 4. Challenge #2: The shift away from a command-and-control culture While better collaboration and transparency within the workplace becomes a competitive advantage, adoption of more social collaboration tools requires a cultural shift that not all organizations are ready to embrace. In a recent Gartner video, Business Gets Social, managing vice president Susan Landry said, “People in organizations...are in very different places in terms of thinking about social. Some of them are very enthusiastic and are trying to make things happen...Others are frankly trying to shut it down.” In the enterprise, collaboration tools can be viewed as a threat to individual power, managerial control, company tradition and even privacy. Given these concerns, adoption of social tools for collaboration is not something that happens overnight. Forrester gives the hard numbers: “Despite significant and ongoing investment in enterprise social technologies, their roughly seven-year lifespan within enterprises has yielded a maximum of 12 percent adoption within the overall workforce.” In order for collaboration tools to really take hold, a cultural shift must take place. This requires aggressive internal marketing, led by high-level champions who embrace the new technologies and continuously reinforce their business value, assuring employees that it is okay to share. In addition to complete buy-in from top management, employees also need to see concrete examples of how successful collaborations are praised, incentivized, compensated and otherwise rewarded. Basically employees need to know that their corporate culture supports the collaborative mindset at every level of the organization. 3
  5. 5. Challenge #3: Engaging and inspiring the best talent Employees are one of the most valuable assets of a company. A large challenge for executives is engaging employees and sustaining talent. More social, collaborative environments have proven to provide a place for managers to recognize employees and celebrate their success in front of their peers. Employee recognition boosts morale and inspires greater productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, a survey from the McKinsey Quarterly, showed that respondents viewed non-financial motivators—praise from immediate managers, attention from leadership and a chance to direct projects—as being “at least as effective” as the three highest-rated monetary ones: cash bonuses, increased base pay, and stock or stock options.” Decreasing operational friction and making it easier for employees to collaborate and get work done are important factors in transforming business and sustaining talent. Social collaboration tools provide a more open, innovative environment where employees can share ideas, engage with colleagues who have similar interests, and leverage the power of an active network to do their jobs better. 4
  6. 6. Challenge #4: Managing information overload It’s becoming increasingly difficult for employees to find the right information. According to Gartner, roughly 80% of the data generated by organizations is unstructured and 90% of 
it is unmanaged. To add insult to injury, the vast majority of the knowledge that does enter the collective consciousness of the enterprise is lost. This is mostly due to employee turnover and transfer, but nearly 30% of this can be attributed to people’s inability to find key information— either online or on their own computers. Different people like to store their content in different ways, often with different naming conventions. This can make it impossible for employees to find what they are looking for, and creates a lot of duplicate efforts. According to Butler Group, knowledge workers spend up to 30% of their time each day looking for data, and IDC reports that 50% of employee searches for specific data are failures. Access to too many tools can also contribute to overload. Over time, companies have found themselves with a diverse and fragmented array of business applications and technologies that don’t work together, or no longer adhere to how people actually work. Static intranets and e-mail are simply not effective for helping employees find what they are looking for. Part of the challenge is getting every employee exactly the right information—overcoming the sheer volume of communication and content that travels across an enterprise everyday, and the lack of structure that comes with using a kludge of ad-hoc tools to do different things. Having the right tools in place is one way to address this challenge. Collaboration technology has the potential to overcome the barriers of information overload if it’s structured so that employees can quickly receive information that’s relevant and in the context of what they do. 5
  7. 7. Challenge #5: Managing risk and security With social technologies becoming more pervasive, end users have brought free consumer-like tools into the workplace—tools lacking the security and integration an enterprise requires. Organizations must approach collaboration platforms holistically as long-term strategic investments, so they meet security and integration standards—including integration with active directory or any single sign-on solution, and flexible deployment and scalability options. The platform must also integrate seamlessly with line-of-business applications so that users can access the tools they need all from one place. Another aspect of security is content access management. Because different people within an organization need access to different levels of information, companies need the ability to grant access appropriately, creating information hierarchies by user and group. 6
  8. 8. Conclusion Collaboration tools offer benefits beyond reduced operational costs, but organizations need to address key challenges for these initiatives to reach their full potential. We know that organizational structure, corporate culture and technology requirements all play a part. Corporate cultures can be changed through leadership, guidance and positive reinforcement. Organizational structures are evolving by the day, becoming more mobile and more widely distributed. The real burden for carving business value from collaboration lies in the technology. To find collaboration solutions that deliver on the promises of enterprise social, organizations will need to identify the pain points they want to remedy. They must also examine the critical business processes and systems that need to be incorporated to make collaboration a long-term success. Forrester’s Craig Le Clair predicts that organizations will pay increased attention to the people who make collaboration possible and profitable. “We’ve really underinvested in support
for these knowledge workers who drive 80% of the intellectual property and innovation in a lot of companies,” he says. With dedicated focus on bringing the right social technologies to the enterprise, effective enterprise social networking will become a powerful and unstoppable force in leading businesses worldwide. 7
  9. 9. About tibbr tibbr is the social network for work. It brings people, applications and actions together in one place—on a desktop, smartphone or tablet—so work gets done faster. tibbr also gives real-time insights on the people and topics that are influencing your business, making it a great tool for discovery and innovation. It encourages the sharing of ideas and inspiration so organizations can take advantage of their collective intelligence. Launched in January 2011, tibbr is already used by over a million humans in more than 100 countries, revolutionizing how we communicate, collaborate, share and learn. Learn more at www.tibbr.com. sources Bjorlin, Courtney. (2011) “Collaboration Nation: Businesses Interested, But Use Cases Still Necessary,” ASUG News, July 25, 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.asugnews.com/2011/07/25/collaboration-nation-businesses- interested-but-use-cases-still-necessary/ Burnham, Kristin. (2011) “Enterprise Collaboration Tools: 4 Ways to Achieve More Value,” CIO, March 23, 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.cio.com/article/678008/Enterprise_Collaboration_Tools_4_Ways_to_Achieve_More_ Value Burt, Jeffrey. (2011) “Businesses Waiting on Collaboration Benefits: Forrester,” eWeek.com, March 25, 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Businesses-Waiting-on-Collaboration- Benefits-Forrester-893820/ Foremski, Tom. (2007) “IDC: We face a looming crisis - we won’t have anywhere to store hundreds of exabytes of data,” Silicon Valley Watcher, March 6, 2007. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/ archives/2007/03/idc_we_face_a_l.php Keitt, TJ. (2011) “Are Businesses Missing The Benefits Of Collaboration Technology?,” Forrester, March 23, 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://blogs.forrester.com/tj_keitt/11-03-23-are_businesses_missing_the_benefits_of_ collaboration_technology Stuart, Anne. (2011) “Enterprise Collaboration: Avoiding Collaboration Challenges in DCM: Five Guidelines,” ebizQ, December 14, 2011. Retrieved February 2012 from http://www.ebizq.net/topics/collaboration/features/13283.html 8