Best Argument: Dead
Audience Favored: Alive (52%)
Some would have us count email, messaging and some collaborative technologies as proof positive that businesses are becoming social enterprises. Most of these are evolutionary extensions of older technologies businesses have used for decades (like a phone call or chalkboard). I’d argue that businesses have always been social enterprises and the new technologies only make more of that happen. Social enterprise is not a ground-breaking, earth shattering transformation that is permanently altering business as we know it, it’s simply more evolution.
Sure, embracing social content makes sense for consumer marketing types and recruiting functions but it's a tougher sale to a company that stamps out metal products used in industrial products. Remember, social is a tool for some firms. It's additive for them and not transformative. It's that additive aspect that makes it an option for some companies and not a competitive prerequisite.
Social enterprise isn’t dead or dying. It’s just this tech-driven space hoping a blockbuster product comes along that finally makes it the killer business app of all time. It hasn’t happened yet as social enterprise is more of a journey than a ‘thing’, ‘product’ or new process.
Rumors of the death of the social enterprise are greatly exaggerated. In fact, use of social media by businesses -- whether that's for internal collaboration purposes or for external marketing and customer support -- is currently at an all time high. What's perhaps at its lowest point though, is the hype itself.
The reality that social media is a very different way of working has now sunk in, yet because of this its application by organizations is often still superficial. This also means that social business is still just getting started. More and more success stories accumulate every day, even as some became disillusioned by early experiments that didn't quickly match the levels of the flowery rhetoric employed in the early days.
What is happening now, however, is the useful -- and inevitable -- process of maturity of the social business industry. If anything is dead, it's the notion that our businesses can simply continue as usual, using out-dated channels of communication to achieve their goals.