Social Business Benefits Are A Long-Term Investment
February 4, 2013 Jenny Thomas
There’s no need to review why your company has to get up to speed on social business. Get on the train or get left at the platform. We’ve all heard the lecture. And it must have sunk in because according to the gurus at Gartner, enterprise social networks are fast-becoming the primary communication channels for noticing, deciding, or acting on information relevant to carrying out work.
So everyone is staying on trend and ready to reap the rewards. Good news, right? Now here’s the catch: Gartner estimates that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology.
These revelations on social business are the part of a new Gartner report, Predicts 2013: Social and Collaboration Go Deeper and Wider, that takes a look at how social software and collaboration will impact the buyers and providers of the technology.
The report explains the slow return on social business efforts is largely a result of how social business is introduced into an organization. There is a big difference in how social initiatives are adopted when compared to more traditional technology deployments. In the good old days (you know, last year and the prior five decades), technology rollouts followed a “push” paradigm, where workers were trained on an app and were then expected to use it. With social business, users have to opt in, which means they have to want to use it because it offers a significantly better way to work.
Carol Rozwell, vice president and analyst at Gartner, explained IT leaders of social business initiatives need to shift their emphasis away from deciding which technology to implement. Instead the focus needs to be on identifying how social initiatives will improve work practices for both individual contributors and managers. To do this, businesses need a detailed understanding of social networks: how people are currently working, who they work with, and what their needs are.
“There is too much focus on content and technology, and not enough focus on leadership and relationships,” Rozwell said. “Successful social business initiatives require leadership and behavioral changes. Just sponsoring a social project is not enough, managers need to demonstrate their commitment to a more open, transparent work style by their actions.”
The Gartner report also outlined two additional key predictions around social and collaboration:
Gamified-whosamawhatsie? Wikipedia defines gamification as the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts in order to engage users and solve problems. According to Gartner, those three key features–gamification, social, and mobile–are already emerging in the marketplace in user-facing applications, and over the next five years, these three features will appear in the majority of user-oriented applications and apps.
The real good news is there are some benefits on the horizon for all of the grunt work that IT departments are doing now to integrate social business into daily business. Gartner says Facebook-like enterprise social networking software for communication has several advantages over email, including information capture and reuse, group organization, and social filtering. A Facebook-like social networking environment within an organization can be used as a general-purpose communication channel where information and events that originate in external systems, such as email, office applications and business applications, can be injected into conversations, and vice versa.
You can purchase the complete report, Predicts 2013: Social and Collaboration Go Deeper and Wider, on Gartner’s website here. Additional information and analysis on social and collaboration will be discussed at the Gartner Portals Content & Collaboration Summit 2013, taking place April 29-May 1 in San Diego, and September 16-17 in London.