Connecting People to People with Social Collaboration
Author(s): Linda Welch, Posted on February 19th, 2014
Ways of communicating have drastically changed over the past several decades through technology innovations from data networks talking to each other, to email and most recently the explosion of consumer technologies. Communication is now instant and available at the touch of a finger for both personal and business use, anytime and anywhere..
It is easy to see how influential this capability is through our children who have a device glued to their fingers at all times to communicate with their friends. But what are the benefits and usage in the corporate world? According to Visual.ly, businesses could unlock a potential annual value of $1.3 trillion by using social technologies in the enterprise. A 25% improvement is possible in knowledge workers productivity by using social technologies.
Gloria Burke, Unisys chief knowledge officer and global portfolio leader for the Unified Social Business Practice at Unisys, considers the importance of collaboration across the enterprise, and says that doing it wisely and effectively requires the right technology, but not necessarily the most technology. She points to Unisys as an example and talks Social Business with Sitrion’s Daniel Kraft in this video interview.
Connecting people to people can result in real-time answers allowing you to respond quickly to colleagues and clients providing marketplace agility and competitive advantage. Social business enables employees to learn on the fly and become effective in their work wherever they are.
Social business should be integrated into your key business processes. Gloria comments on the Unisys deployment of social business technologies.
“All too often, companies are tactical in deploying a specific social engine or collaboration solution into the environment without first considering its capability to deliver practical use and value across the enterprise,” said Gloria. “At the same time, it’s imperative to have leadership alignment and active support of the initiative. Real change and institutional adoption begins top down.”
“We have one main collaborative platform that scales our enterprise and serves more than 22,500 employees worldwide. We accomplished this with only two social engines: one that serves the global employee base, and one used specifically by our sales force and account managers for developing and managing client business.”
“Organizations often forget to socialize the value that knowledge-sharing brings to the individual employee. Typically, knowledge and collaboration tools are pushed out at a high level, which does nothing to compel action or change behavior,” Burke of Unisys said. “By socializing value cases for key areas of business, employee roles and engaging organization stakeholders early on, companies can address the ‘what’s in it for me’ question, which is critical to drive adoption and sustained use of the tools. It’s a simple fact: people support what they helped build.”
Social business is here to stay and will continue to evolve as technology innovations feed new capabilities. “An enterprise social business platform and well-executed collaboration strategy has the power to change and transform companies,” Burke of Unisys said. “In the future, it may be the difference between successful organizations and those that are left behind.”
For additional insight on this topic, also read the Outsourcing Center 2014 Forecast article on Global Collaboration — It’s a Small World.