Social Business

The explosion of popularity in social media has given rise to the social business. New technology platforms have arrived that create entire social platforms for enterprises where employees can share documents, collaborate on files, comment on projects and workflows or just build camaraderie. As with any new technology, the IT leader is one of the instrumental figures in identifying, selecting, deploying and maintaining these platforms.

70% of companies are using social technologies, with 90% of those companies reporting business value from those investments.

The future of business is social – but how can IT lead the way?

Identify Your Organization’s Needs

The first step to transforming your enterprise into a social one is identifying your company’s unique needs. While there’s a lot of overlap between social platforms in terms of functionality, the emphasis is often different; some platforms focus primarily on document sharing and collaboration, others on commenting and social interaction between coworkers, etc. Tailoring your platform choice to the culture, personality and workflows of your employees will ensure adoption and usage and prevent teams from splintering and pursuing their own social technology avenues.

Training is Everything

Social intranets and collaboration platforms are incredibly powerful tools for connecting businesses, especially ones with geographically disparate teams and departments. However, as with any tool, training is essential and has to go beyond “this is the URL.” Educate your employees on the functionality and benefits of any new tools you deploy. Add training materials to your new-hire onboarding process.

While the onus for training may not specifically rest on IT’s shoulders, it’s important for IT to communicate with the right departments and facilitate the education process

Set the Example

IT departments are indispensable components of an organization, and they are often looked to as the technological leaders as they manage equipment provisioning, internal support, software updates and more. As such, it’s vital that your IT teams buy in to any social platform and make use of its features to lead the charge for the rest of the company. Integrate your support workflows directly into the social business platform. Create spaces or hubs that contain common troubleshooting tips or useful documents.

IT has tremendous potential to create true value in a social platform, and can be instrumental in driving usage and adoption.