Product Innovation Trends

The Social Enterprise: What’s the Real Business Value?

Until now, social has been an experiment in the enterprise, with loose goals around bringing teams together, impacting culture, and sharing best practices.

The Altimeter Group’s recent report by Charlene Li: Making the Case for Enterprise Social Networks, identifies the problem being that most companies approach enterprise social networks as a technology deployment and fail to understand that the new relationships created by enterprise social networks are the source for value creation.

Further, the report identifies that social enterprise networks are still focused on engagement and have little impact on business goals with financial results being impacted by less than 7% (includes assessment on revenue, profits, & cost savings).

Fig. 6-1 Top Metrics Measure Engagement, Not Progress Against Business Goals

But now, its time to add purpose to these tools so they impact execution toward enterprise strategic initiatives toward innovation and increasing the business value – not just how your teams operate, but how they impact productivity, process, and profitability.

In a recent CIO Journal article, Chris Curran, a principal analyst at PwC, says CIOs should use the success of consumer-driven social networks as a catalyst to rethink their entire strategy around collaboration and productivity.

One approach he suggests is to encourage the creation of social networks around specific business processes, such as responding to requests for proposals, because employees will have natural incentives to plug in to collaborate effectively.

Collaboration can now be tied to the strategic initiatives of the company by engaging every person inside the organization. Platforms can now speed critical decisions, manage product requirements as they change or evolve, and engage every stakeholder when and where necessary to keep projects on time, on scope and on budget.