Creating successful online communities is still more art than science, yet techniques and frameworks are now emerging to turn social business into a real discipline. This week we take a look at a new case study that explores metrics that can measure the intrinsic health of communities instead of looking purely at size as the defining barometer.
Enterprise Web 2.0
Dion Hinchcliffe on leveraging the convergence of IT and the next generation of the Web.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an expert in information technology, business strategy, and next-generation enterprises. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the digital business transformation firm Adjuvi. A veteran of enterprise IT, Dion has been working for two decades with leading-edge methods to bridge the widening gap between business and technology. He has extensive practical experience with enterprise technologies and he consults, advises, and writes prolifically on social business, IT, and enterprise architecture. Dion still works in the trenches with clients in the Fortune 1000, government, and Internet startup community. He is also a sought-after keynote speaker and is co-author of several books on 2.0 subjects including Web 2.0 Architectures from O'Reilly as well as the best-selling Social Business By Design from John Wiley & Sons (May, 2012.)
Regulated industries often have a difficult time adopting social media beyond simple outbound marketing. Fortunately, engaging with the marketplace and getting into the more interesting and valuable scenarios, such as Social CRM, is getting easier as solutions and frameworks for dealing with the legal and compliance issues emerge. I examine the recent discussions from a major financial services conference and summarize potential solutions.
New tools are emerging all the time to sift through social media and help companies determine their impact and relevance in the new medium. The freely available Social Business Index is a new melding of big data and social media to help companies get an comprehensive view of how they are represented in the world of social business.
With the Social CRM industry expected to top $1 billion in revenue in 2012, it's growing faster that just about any other segment of social business. Yet the classic challenges of dealing with newly empowered customers but slow-evolving enterprise processes are likely to mean plenty of lost opportunity. To catch up, how can companies better re-conceive the way that they will engage with the customers?
Salesforce's Marc Benioff continued his now-epic stream of social business thought leadership at this week's Dreamforce 2011 in San Francisco. The messaging was certainly world class and the slew of announcements this week will address many of the shortcomings or feature gaps in its social software product line. But is a company whose roots are in sales automation and cloud-based SaaS the right firm to take organizations fully into the social world of the 21st century?
The global growth of social media as a mainstream trend is the subject of regular news headlines these days. Yet the assumption is that most enterprises are either taking a wait-and-see attitude or are hopelessly behind consumer trends. The surprise is that enterprises have actually been holding steady behind the consumer world as they look towards the future of their workplace.
Understanding who knows what inside today's modern organizations can be an exercise in frustration, especially when you're trying to get things accomplished in tight timelines. Social software that delivers insight into the community can help by making it easier to find the right person. SAP's Scott Lawley explores how, by leveraging community connections and interactions, a series of expertise dimensions can be measured, computed, and put to good use to improve collaboration.
As accumulated information has become a top-line asset in large companies, the ability to tap into it and release value from it is not growing to match in most traditional firms. Yet this information is currently growing exponentially and becoming a challenge in its own right. Enter Big Data, one of the year's most interesting technology stories. Big Data offers the promise of reaching the value that's increasingly moving outside the scope of traditional IT approaches to deal with in using innovative new technologies. Smart organizations can apply Big Data methods to solve existing business problems, implement new business models, and drive growth in innovative new ways. That is, if they can find a way to move beyond their parochial ways.
Social software has been making its way into the enterprise for a while, but usually from vendors that are experts at enterprise needs. Now it appears that professional social networks on the Internet will make an attempt at the space. What will this mean given that they already have a large percentage of your workers using their services externally today, yet little practical enterprise experience?
While app stores have become enormously popular with users, particularly on mobile devices, they are now moving to the enterprise. The new Jive Apps Market provides an interesting approach that combines apps with direct integration into the flow of a worker's primary social experience. Not to be outdone, Apps Market is also designed to appeal to IT as well. It will be one of the enterprise app stores to watch closely.
The means to connect social networks and software applications together have existed for years but haven't been very open or useful enough to reach critical mass. That's been changing as OpenSocial has continued to doggedly improve and mature. The latest version has a chance to go mainstream, the question is if users will find the features compelling enough to use.
It's long been easy to connect applications together on the Web, particularly in social media. But we're only now finally starting to see real progress on moving these lessons into the enterprise. With the advent of a new customer service API that uses the lessons from the open API world, this may at long last happen, to the real benefit of end users and customers.
With social media features popping up inside existing enterprise applications combined with the crush of enterprise-ready social business platforms, figuring out how to situate social media on an intranet, in content/document management, and within functional verticals inside the has become a significant challenge. Here are some of the key issues for sorting out social media and IT strategy in today's fast moving marketplace.
While app stores have become very popular in the consumer world -- especially on mobile devices -- they haven't been as popular in the enterprise. However, newer offerings and a growing expectation by workers that app stores offer selection, convenience, and better prices is changing the landscape. IT departments now have their work cut out for them to ensure their own needs are met.
Today social media generates more information in a short period of time than was previously available in the entire world a few generations ago. Making sense of it and understanding what it means for your business will require all new technologies and techniques, including the emerging field of big data.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 The "Big Five" IT trends of the next half decade: Mobile, social, cloud, consumerization, and big data
- 2 Ten leading platforms for creating online communities
- 3 The enterprise technologies to watch in 2014
- 4 20 contemporary enterprise collaboration tools
- 5 Is the Internet of Things strategic to the enterprise?