As waves of consumer technologies reach the enterprise, it is important to have a strategic vision on how they may be leveraged in the enterprise – an environment that is fundamentally different than the consumer one.
Social Computing is one of those newer trends that still puzzles and freezes corporate IT (see results in the latest Unisys and IDC research, Riding the Next Wave of Productivity). As this phenomenon unfolds in the public arena at a success rate unseen before, organizations grapple with what it means to their business. Is this just a marketing platform? Could it be used for customer support? Should we allow it or ban it? While public social networks test the enterprise, a whole new category of enterprise social collaboration products have been built with a goal to be the super-node for human collaboration and workflow in the enterprise.
All through the history of IT, we focused on automating and managing business transactions leaving aside a critical component of the business life – the unstructured natural flow of business life which is comprised of identity, conversations and relationships. As enterprise integration products streamlined system-to-system processes, business process systems tried to integrate human-to-system interactions. Social computing completes the last piece of the puzzle by connecting human-to-human interactions in a very effective way. In the not so distant future, our daily workflow will center on advanced corporate social computing platforms that are tightly integrated with enterprise applications. We will use these platforms to orchestrate our daily activities, collaborate and interact with our colleagues while our online social identities mimic our real-life identities.
As social collaboration platforms integrate with the rest of the enterprise, a closely knit, digital super hub will be formed – a first-ever, fully-connected, completely virtual environment with unprecedented productivity and innovation potential. How ready is your business or organization to take advantage of this opportunity?