MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte conducted a survey from organizations in 115 countries and 24 industries, to understand the status of social computing: how does business leader think about it, where is the business value from it, and what kind of challenges they face today. Though many mid and large businesses just start experimenting enterprise social tools, most of leaders shows enthusiasm and confidence about the potential it can bring up in the future.
1. The Values from Social Computing
From survey, the largest enterprise and small business are more interested in social and perceive more values than mid-size business, the top five social experiments are identified as:
· Cross-functional collaboration
· Improve work Effectiveness
· Voice opinions and share collective wisdom
· Build more Inter-connected communication platform
· Reputation/Performance Management
From industry perspective, technology and media sector take a leadership in adopting social, seems culture matters, the social business leaders may have more open culture to embrace new idea and innovation, though all customer-centric industries need speed up the pace to integrate social into the traditional channels to both delight customer and engage employees.
From senior leadership perspective, CEO now becomes better social advocate than CIO & CFO, CIO as IT leaders, feel cautious about social mainly because of the “controller” mindset, think social could become data nightmare or another shadow IT sprawling due to security and privacy concerns.
The key values the organization can gain from social include, but not limited to:
· Marketing: businesses are using social tools/media/platform to improve customer relationship, monitor online customer behavior, create & support customer community and develop multi-channel communications;
· Innovation: Organizations are also using social to source new ideas and refine current products/services, to manage three types of innovation: sustainable innovation, efficiency innovation and disruptive innovation at more systematic way.
· Operational Excellence: Social business allows knowledge/information to flow more seamlessly cross functional silo, therefore it can orchestrate enterprise wide collaboration and improve operational performance.
· Leadership: Social activities & participation can help leaders sharpen strategic insight and extend strategic execution. As via collective wisdom, leadership can expand the tunnel vision, understand the next trend and what the customer need next, when executing it, social can enhance agile methodology and improve communication & corporation.
2. The Challenges to Go Social
Though social is hot, implementing social is a difficult process for many, from Gartner’s estimate, the failure rate for social business projects at 70%, why:
· Using Social without business purpose or problems to solve, to confuse social as enterprise business tool with personal social usage, not set the right boundary and decrease staff productivity;
· Fail to integrate social tools with business’s daily workflow and process, or social tools are not integrated well with other enterprise tools such as
CRM, BPM or business analytics.
· Lack of understanding and sponsorship from senior management has been cited the biggest barrier to social adoption.
· Fear lack of control, security concerns, privacy issues, data management concerns;
· Lack of knowledge sharing culture, employees mistrust or resistance to adopt new things and lack of incentive
· Experiment social, the metrics may not be critical, but when organization need amplify best practice, no metrics to measure result can cause project inefficiency strategically, tactically and economically.
- The Survey Q&A Highlight
Q1) What are the primary challenges facing organizations in next two years?
A: Growing revenue, innovation, cost efficiency, customer relationship management and competitive advantage are top five.
Q2) How important do you think social tools will be to organization’s success in next two years?
A: about 40% of responses think it will help manage customer relationship, innovation; about 30% think it will help talent management, revenue growth and improve competitive edge.
Q3): How important do you consider social software to be to your organization?
A: about 20% think it’s important for their business TODAY; about 40% think it’s important for them one year from today; and more than 60% think it’s important for them in three years from today.
Q4): What factors do you see facilitating the adoption of social in your organization:
A: the top three factors include: clear vision of social supporting business strategy; senior management support, good fit for organization’s culture & employee enthusiasm;
Q5) To what extent do each of following functional areas drive the use of social software within the organization?
A: the leading business functions include: marketing/sale, customer service, IT and product design.
The key takeaway from the report is: the social business matters today, will matter more tomorrow.