“The big failure of social business is a lack of integration of social tools into the collaborative workflow.”—
The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business is a great piece by one who has experienced life at the social media-driven coalface. Detailing the problems executives experience when trying to integrate collaborative/Web 2.0 tools into their existing workflow, Laurie Buczek also offers some smart, common sense advice. Real issues arise when trying to tweak old-school, inflexible, legacy systems and the hardwired behaviors of multiple employees, and these should be acknowledged and dealt with upfront. Just pasting another system on top won’t work. Buczek writes:
Focus on what you can control. Focus on creating a natural collaborative experience. Focus on providing an easy & intuitive user experience. Focus on dissolving collaborative islands- don’t create more with social tools. These steps can keep you from falling down the rabbit hole and staying steady on the road to realizing robust social enterprise success while you continue to tackle other longer-term challenges.
Social ROI - How do you measure your business now?
Social ROI - How do you measure it now? - I often get asked by both customers and peers to illustrate a social solution’s ROI. Often like this: “Bring me a white paper, at least 4 pages long but no shorter than two that has 3 graphs and one matrix that shows how your product delivers ROI to my company. Oh and I want it relative to my industry and my geography. Got it? Good, thanks. What was that you said? I was listening to another call while walking through an airport because I’m going to China don’t ya know? “ OK - Ill get right on that.
Lots of content, tweets, blog posts, analyst studies, etc that trumpet the value of a social strategy. Once you get beyond the noise and focus in on a business issue or opportunity for change my first thought always is: what is it your trying to measure and HOW DO YOU MEASURE THAT NOW? Give me your measurements and how you came up with that and Ill show you how my technology solution can affect that outcome. The key is OUTCOME. It seems to me folks expect that a new solution or approach creates a new ROI measurement in and of itself or is self contained in how it is applied to any business. The social/cloud chorus is so loud it has to create value on its own right?
I think we can take simpler, calmer approach but this assumes you know what it is you want to affect. For example, what is your product development cycle time? (or how many patients do you process, how many subscribers do you service, how many units to break even over what duration, insert value creation statement here…) What if you could reduce that from 6 months to 2? The key is, do you know how long it takes your enterprise to get a new product or service from idea to delivery now? In my experience most people I interact with do not know this. To determine what effect a social strategy could have you have to know what outcome you want measured and how do you count it. Vendors, consultants, and analysts will all love to show you many models and analysis to convince you to buy now. (Is this familiar - “you cant afford NOT too”) but until you have an outcome you can measure you will never really know.
When you evaluate a social strategy take a step back away from the noise and think about your core business. What makes you different? Or what value do you create? If applicable do a thought experiment where you define your differentiation in a world with out the internet. Odds are your mission or value add has something to do with people. People are social, you can interact with people in more informal or social ways that will enhance your business. How? What’s the outcome you want?