This entry is filed under Weekly Links.
Last year, I had the opportunity to spend a day in Monterey, California with CHROs and HR executives from some of the largest organizations in the world. My charter was to suggest a practical pathway for how HR can become a critical weapon in the arsenal of ‘compete to win in the 21st century’ planning and how the connected enterprise will play a role. As we got to the ‘great,-now-lets-talk-execution” part of this conversation, one of the issues we tackled together was what tomorrow’s Employee System of Record needs to look like if HR wants to become a meaningful player at the strategy table. In the past year, the business need for this is becoming clearer to executives, and the strategic know-how and enabling technology have made much progress. So I thought I’d abstract that discussion and bring it here.
“I’m much more than what HR thinks of me, today”.
The foundational ingredient to craft highly connected enterprises properly is two fold:
- The collaborative context that warrants a huddle in the first place, and
- Who the right players are to get the job done.
I’ve written a lot about the need for collaborative context over the last 2 years. This post is about the players.
The single most important nut we need to crack first is the efficient ‘findability ’ of people. If we don’t know who to engage with, we can’t well…engage effectively. And if we cant engage with the right people, we can’t share or socialize our day to day exceptions (or calls for help) effectively. And ultimately, we can’t collaborate effectively to impact performance.
Intelligence on who to reach out to is arguably the most powerful yet decrepit utility inside organizations today. At worst, its fragmented across multiple, difficult to use systems. Even for those organizations that are fortunate to not have multiple systems of employee records, the information regarding where the best minds hide and what they know is woefully incomplete, overtly guarded and not available at the point in time or location of decision making.
For organizations to collaborate effectively, assessing the real value of ‘Me’ in the organization needs to be characterized by 4 dimensions that cover not just what HR estimates of me, but also be based directly on the merits of my work.
The way to get to #’s (2), (3) and (4) is to ensure that you have a 2011 model Identity capability that’s coupled well with your collaboration and HR system of record. That not only lets you explicitly illustrate (2) and (3) but also lets you implicitly capture (4) in near real-time and without middleman interpretation. In sum, this gives managers and peers a true sense of an employee capabilities.
The value of this highly enriched data set on real employee value may well belong to HR as it always has, but the opportunity is much much larger than general purpose human capital insight. It’s now highly tuned to empower in-the-flow talent brokering as dynamic teams of employees, customers, partners and even suppliers huddle together to solve problems and ship products at the speed and quality that today’s highly informed customer expects. That’s infinitely more powerful than a general purpose resource management profile that’s visited primarily at the time of hiring, re-allocation, (sub-optimal) performance review and firing/retrenchment. If you stop to think about it, the real performing happens between these events. That’s when employee insight is needed the most.
The Performance Benefits.
Each of these are complete posts in and of themselves that I will do at some point but the immediate value, as I see it, can be characterized in critical areas, listed below. I’m drawing on snippets I’ve written previously, but I also want to add a fourth, and that’s Financial Performance.
You now have the opportunity to fold in important behavioral data such as degree of sharing, helping, engaging, contribution and involvement, giving HR a broader set of data points about the employees allegiance to the firm and dare I say, employee lifetime (with the company at least) value. These important data points complement traditional performance metrics giving you a sense of how critical each employee might be to a business unit, a product line, a geographic territory and ultimately to the company as a whole.
Line of Business Performance
Todays customer is expecting us to break through organization silos and rally around their questions and other needs. In terms of business objectives alignment, measuring and dynamically optimizing how different functions come together to support say, field marketing, product launches, customer pitches or support inquiries now becomes much more efficient. There’s crucial lessons to be learned here in terms of not only identifying who the rock stars were, but also how to institutionalize well performing processes and interaction models going forward, based on who did what, and how.
CFOs mostly learn about failing investments after the fact. In the flow analytics gleaned from collaboration also gives managers distinct insight into how projects are performing as they happen, if the resource mix is right, and again, who to keep, re-place, or remove, before its too late. That’s a really powerful outcome from amalgamating traditional knowledge from HR, and what our collaborative programs can supplement.
The race for market leadership via a new connected and people centered way of work is well underway at many global organizations. Whilst we in the blogosphere bloviate about Social Business this and Enterprise 2.0 that, remember, this is all first and foremost about the smart identity access and leverage. That then opens the door to efficient resourcing, then better co-creation and problem solving, and ultimately, business performance. Get identity wrong, and you’ve handicapped your odds of success, no matter how shiny your social tools or how big your budget.
Bill Kutik of HRTech fame aptly characterized HR as the ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of the Executive Suite. I couldn’t have said it better. As I discussed with the esteemed group of CHROs and executives at the retreat, in my estimation, HR as a function has been beaten down (emotionally) to a pulp over the last decade. This function has had the ugly pleasure of, one one hand, getting near zero credit for those very rock stars they sourced who were responsible for blazing performance in good times, but yet were handed the dirty job of laying off thousands in bad times. Now is their time to design for and to transition into the ultimate brokers of real people intelligence. And to then trade on that indispensable currency as the rest of the leadership sizes up what effectively competing and winning in the 21st century will entail.
Comments rolling in on Google Plus, here.
Update: This post was re-published on Human Resource Executive.
Software used to ship on CDs and came with static how-to manuals. As someone whose led over 50 RFP exercises, the documentation piece was always one that led to some tenuous conversations on how much the vendor was willing to hand hold, once the check was signed.
Fast forward to the 21st century where we’re looking to create more fluid organizations. Cloud computing based solutions means no CDs, less lag time and minimal disruption between updates. But what about the how-to insight that comes with it? If the software is going to change on a dime, the associated know-how needs to keep that same pace. That’s where vibrant customer communities come into play. Communities where you can have live discussions with peers in your industry, and with solution experts who have answers to the broadest or most deepest topics on how to make software work. In turn, the hosting vendor gets to build ongoing relationships with customers and guide them to success, show a commitment to support not just on a paper contract but in action. And yes to find up-sell or cross-sell opportunities for them and their partners. If done in an authentic way, good for both sides.
In the software industry you can’t really have a discussion about communities without referencing the SAP Community Network. No other vendor has had the ability to manage a community at this scale, (2+ million strong) and as seen at TechEd last week and every other SAP conference, the needed offline/online balance to keep it vibrant. The community is not just a rudderless forum. It;s topical, it has reputation standards for participants and lead gen and commerce abilities.
SAP has had a lot of false starts and lost the compass a number of times over the last few years. In my opinion, had they not had this community (and its influencer engagement efforts led my Mike Prosceno) to have authentic discussions with customer and partner stakeholders, they would have bled customers at a faster clip. In good times, the customer got a helping hand. In bad times, an authentic forum such as this bought them a lot of patience as they worked to get the train back on the rails.
At the Enterprise 2.o conference in Boston this summer, Jon Reed, (a mentor him self and one of the most well known and respected faces in the SAP Community Network) and I sat down to talk about the value of collaboration – be those with customers, employees or partners. At minute 14 of this video, I asked Jon what value he got out of the SAP community. He characterizes the value by saying “I can’t imagine not having this community”.
And last week at SAP TechEd, Jon sat down with Mark Yolton, SVP at SAP, who provides an in-depth perspective on what the community has achieved and why its the much needed bling that goes along with the software sale.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Be nice to people on your way up. They’ll help you when you’re on your way down.”
There’s obviously value to get from communities in good times as well, as Mark lays out for SAP. I’ve written about it a lot, here and my pal Rachel Happe works tirelessly with community managers every day to get this right. But if the day to day benefits described in Mark’s interview doesn’t give you the ‘aha moment’ right away, consider what it can do for you when times get tough.
Kudos to the SAP leadership for continual investment in this program.
For context, I suggest you start by reading this post by Professor Andrew McAfee, called ‘Putting Enterprise 2.0 into Context“.
Professor McAfee pulled together some great posts (as well as my Dreamforce 11 wrap up post) that support a central work-centric collaboration theme, encapsulated by this:
Succeeding ‘unignorably’ here means generating tangible business value for the enterprise: raising revenue or profit, cutting cost or time. It doesn’t just mean making the business more social, humane, people-centric, and so on.
For those of you regular readers of this blog, you know thats music to my ears. And as I said to Professor McAfee privately, I’m grateful for his continued call to support a pragmatic version of what we call social computing. And I dig his characterization of this as succeeding unignorably which in my mind doesn’t translate to lack of passion, hope or excitement in any way, but first and foremost, it has a sense of purpose behind yet.
To be fair, he also doesn’t discount the value of ambient discovery and connections – something I absolutely believe to be true:
For some purposes, this is OK. Narrating your work via blogs or microblogs so that others can find you and access your expertise is a great standalone use case, as is narrating your ignorance — asking questions to the enterprise as a whole without guessing in advance who will know the answer.
I’ve intentionally stayed out of naming debate on whether this is Enterprise 2.0 or Social Business. I’ve never believed that customers come looking for either one of those. For horizontal propositions such as employee/customer/partner wide solutions, they try to make sense of whats being sold behind shiny monikers.
Theres a lot of FUD floating around these days on the pitfalls of not becoming ‘social’ that’s unfortunate and unnecessary. No need for that – the state of the markets today and the shifting global competitive landscape offers real, substantiated FUD already. In reality, organizations are looking to optimize their 9-5 in the face of market chaos, globalization, seriously inefficient demand and supply chains, and yes, the changing dynamic of the prospect and customer, thanks to the social web. I’ve covered all these topics here on this blog and so have others. Amongst other execution pathways such has hiring appropriately, leading effectively and training, they seek to also do this by the decisive use of new technology – be that extracting more umph from their existing investments or new advancements such as in-memory computing, the promise of the cloud, social, devices, internet-of-things or what ever comes next.
Attempts to ring fence the best of the Enterprise 2.0 thought leadership as Social Business is also unfortunate and hasn’t led to any additional progress. Salesforce.com, the topic of my initial post, has chosen to use yet another term in Social Enterprise. Whilst I also don’t believe that the majority of the market will buy into what this company sells just because they adopted Social Enterprise as a name, what I’m appreciative of is that the messaging doesn’t attempt to kidnap the historical thinking on this topic. And by that same measure, I hope that the real customer proposition behind ‘Social Enterprise’, as characterized by these ISV endorsements and other platform announcements doesn’t get hijacked by the social business catch-all thats now increasngly adopted by marketing / communications agencies and consultancies.
In reality, those ISVs that have signed up to build or integrate with Force.com and Chatter will hear a call for collaboration and will subsequently supply their integrated technology to customers to meet that demand. I just don’t see Workday or Kenandy or Concur getting too many customer calls demanding that they deliver a social business, pronto. What they will be asked for are effective, scalable and decision-driving ways to collaborate on events generated by their business systems, to enrichen business output.
Even salesforce.com recognizes where the real value of this is. If you looked up at the various billboards hanging off the ceiling on the expo floor at Dreamforce, guess what you saw above the Chatter booths? Not Social Enterprise, definitely not Social Business or Enterprise 2.0…. but simply, Collaborate. And on the ground at the demo booths you saw example after example of meaningful use cases around contextual collaboration.
Even Jive Software’s website messaging these days leads with the more palatable ”The new way to business”. I suspect as more organizations join their new App Store, we’ll see another strong example of context injected into the central collaborative fabric that Jive provides. Gia Lyons said on Twitter yesterday that Accenture will be speaking about process integration with collaboration at a Jive Event. Cool.
I don’t particularly mind what name is used. I just think that to gain credibility, its really important not to be presumptive about the outcome. ERP financials software and associated services was sold as just that. Not a ‘Have a blow-out earnings quarter’ solution. That just sounds hokey.
When we look back in 5-10 years, will we have successfully made enterprises more ‘social’? No question about it. But to get there, as practitioners working hard on this every day and executives betting political currency on these programs, I suggest embracing practical ways to collaborate to show the true power of people centric enterprises. It works for our line of work but don’t take my word for it – listen to two seasoned practitioners on this subject.
Sincere thanks to Professor McAfee for chiming in.
Almost two and a half years ago in March of 2009, I suggested the following:
“Don’t confuse Enterprise 2.0 with social computing concepts”.
Ignoring the dated terminology for a second, my premise was that social in the enterprise doesn’t mean throwing all sorts of features at the end user in an attempt to get them to emulate some combination of Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia for the enterprise. Rather, its the decisive use of social and collaborative concepts to get work done.
If there is one single take away from Dreamforce, its that enterprises are systemically closer to this reality than ever before. Not that we needed the declaration of the social enterprise for this to kick off or that Salesforce.com is the only option. We’ve been seeing users of social platforms find their own ways to self organize and improve business activity, but in many cases, in a silo’d fashion and one devoid of context: join a community on your social platform to have un structured conversations on a business activity. Then head over to your CEM/CRM/ERP/Call Center/system to make updates. Sounds fine in theory but the reality is the system of record remained your primary residence and the new collaboration system, your second home that you visit when you have time. Salesforce.com is now also playing a pivotal role in leading the cut over to contextual collaboration.
Dreamforce conveyed that Salesforce.com has been immersed in twelve months of integration and investment rationalization. Only a few of the product related announcements really blew me away but that’s fine. Putting your investments and technology advancements to work is arguably as important as filling the top of the idea funnel. Even with respect to Chatter, the new functional additions were par for the course stuff. IM and presence, customer and product networks are really not that new and are available in the market. And like every other collaboration software, Chatter has its fair share of ‘can do better’s’. The three-part story on customer, employee and product networks is no doubt a step forward towards illustrating tangible use. But for those of us in the trenches with clients trying to make this work (and I strongly suspect Salesforce.com knows this as Marc Benioff alluded to it in the Q&A session), it takes a lot more of cultural, political and change management will to make this a reality.
But in the spirit of contextual collaboration, the implications of some of the ISV announcements at Dreamforce are just huge and amount to this:
- A social service layer now powers process centric collaboration for critical business processes in the enterprise.
- The Enterprise partner announcements include cloud based leaders who have their sights on the large enterprise market.
- Most of the ISVs offer a forklift solution and can make a go at it, alone. In other words they don’t ‘need’ Salesforce.com to build a successful business. So its a balanced partnership where both sides have as much to gain. If you’ve ever run biz dev, you know that’s generally the most healthy and practical way to truly get results from any tie-up.
Here’s a taste:
- HR: Workday will integrate core HR processes such as approval requests, payroll, budgeting and spend with Chatter. See Larry Dignan’s post on this. I’ll post separately about Workdays Technology Summit.
- Quote and Proposal, and Marketing Automation: Infor, the third largest ERP vendor after SAP and Oracle will offer a 360-degree view of key processes and data such as invoice, contacts, quotes, shipments, receivables, orders, and RMAs across the enterprise. Chatter will turn these into social objects to foster collaboration.
- Travel and Expense Management: Concur Technologies will pipe both Concur and TripIt data into Chatter for both updates and collaboration/coordination between teams on the same trip. Brian Jackson at PC Advisor has the details.
- Supply Chain: Kenandy, the new startup shepherd by Sandra Kurtzig and backed by Ray Lane, will build a collaborative supply chain on the force.com platform and use Chatter to inject collaboration. I’m really big on this topic. Dean Takahashi at Venture Beat had more and Frank Scavo shares seasoned insight, here.
- Finally, Marc Benioff touched on two announcements that have really big implications on gaining traction. First, the Data Residency Option (DRO) connects the cloud to data centers behind the fire wall. Second, Chatter not only integrates with SharePoint but also allows a feed to even live on MOSS. This hybrid connectivity makes the cloud far more palatable for a lot of companies who want to selectively leverage the cloud. Our work on the ground on blending process and collaboration absolutely confirms this need.
The interesting thing is Salesforce.com calls all of this “Social Enterprise” which can sound just as evangelical and nebulous as a good chunk of enterprise 2.0 and social business fare. But beyond marketing air cover, this is a move towards offering get work done systems that can enhance the quality of repeatable process on one hand and on the other, rescue the wild west world of exception handing that plagues our daily work. Chatter now stands to offer one of the most compelling pathways to 21st century collaboration.
From my vantage point, Salesforce.com will still need to keep an eye on the following:
- Salesforce.com will have to live up to this gigantic endorsement it just received from the ISV community. As these partners work on client deployments, the level of required handholding on getting collaboration right will be significant. As important, there is zero room for error with Chatter’s usability, its ability to scale collaboration (very different from registered users), its functional offering, security, and its filtering capabilities. Failing this, these self sufficient ISVs can easily jump ship (this is the cloud, after all).
- For me, the most critical missing element in the Chatter discussion was that Chatter usage was largely uni directional. In other words, pipe data and events into the stream. Chatter needs to showcase the writing back to systems of record to close the activity loop if it wants to truly become the workbench. And from a managerial stand point, social analytics need to flow back to BI systems as well.
- Whilst the keynote stage showed forward thinking executives from Burberry and BMC talking about the social enterprise, there are as many CEOs who will find the social enterprise message a tad bit racy. To his credit, Marc Benioff did recognize in later meetings that this can’t be overlooked. The Sales teams will have to make this translation from hope to the needed elbow grease, effectively.
- Last year’s message was of the inspirational kind. This year could have been more of the perspiration variety that illustrates operational and financial results from successfully embracing collaborative ways of work. I wished we had some hard hitting facts on the keynote stage that showed hard results: more wining products in the market, lower support costs, agility, etc.).
- I was really glad to see Radian6 and Jigsaw data inside CRM. Speaking with folks such as Tristan Bishop from Symantec and Chris James from GNC, it was clear that R6 is being used to solve big call center and product development challenges. But the Radian6 magic could have been far more central to responding to the larger challenge of unified customer touch point integration.
- Salesforce.com is certainly not the only one to bring process collaboration to organizations. Jive Software has proven to be a juggernaut in the space and its Appstore offers an ecosystem as well. Yammer has a deal with NetSuite and integrates with Salesforce.com. Newcomer Tibbr from TIBCO offers by-directional interaction between activity streams and ERP Systems that is really promising. And many more, including Oracle who is working on socializing BPM and CMS content. The customer still has choice.
All up – if you’ve read this blog before, you know why this is closer to my strand of collaboration. The giant discuss button that should have always been sandwiched between the submit and cancel buttons in enterprise systems is finally looking like its going to go mainstream. That will have a profound impact on our ability to source the best insight at every stage of a process or activity. And if done right, will significantly improve the accuracy of what we eventually input into our systems of record. Better data quality for those managers relying on inputs and better analytics for those trying to make sense of data to steer the business.
ZDNet’s Dennis Howlett made the money shot on Twitter (presumably after digesting the ERP cloud announcements of the week) which I think encapsulates the opportunity for Salesforce.com:
@dahowlett: Anyone who writes off ANY business app in the cloud as ‘not happening’ is plain <expletive> mad.
To every enterprise CEO and those forward thinking CIO’s, Dreamforce and the associated ISV announcements illustrated a beautiful future that’s not so distant for those organizations who want to play, and is characterized by this:
- All your systems of record apps can in principle live in the cloud, if it makes sense for your business.
- The pipes are being laid to enable process and decisive collaboration in cloud based systems from the get go. So if employees are getting trained on Infor or Workday when their CIO makes the switch, collaboration know-how on how to improve business activity will be an integrated part of this cut over.
- With native BRO and SharePoint connectors and a significant investment in systems integrator Appirio, a hybrid connectivity world is most certainly needed and available to hand hold those not fully converted.
- And finally, that competitive advantage will not come from customizing commodity business processes apps or from, in my mind, questionable claims of better economics from cloud based solutions. Rather, it will come from superior user experiences, a balance between structured and collaborative work, device ubiquity, and significantly better speed of business execution that cloud based systems are extremely well positioned to accommodate.
Comments rolling in on Google Plus as well, here.
Seriously. Nothing trumps practitioner speak. Mirror in hand, I feel like pundits, gurus, thought leaders, consultants can step aside this week.
Two spectacular posts that I’d like to draw your attention to that I consider must reads. Of course, if we engage on Twitter or Google+, or you follow the #e20 or #socbiz hash tags, you’ve seen these already. But I want to make sure that those subscribing to my blog via RSS, Email, and ways-I-don’t-know, don’t miss out on these two posts.
First, this post from Laurie Buczek titled “The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business” that provides an honest assessment on what works and what doesn’t. Laurie takes on must-have and must-have nots when executing social in the enterprise.
Must haves include workflow integration, customer integration into collaboration, ubiquitous access and the like. Must have-nots include dropping the email-is-going-away argument and many others. You simply won’t get such an honest brutal assessment on what works and what doesn’t. Laurie went all the way to ZDNet with this post. Laurie is @lauriegbuczek on Twitter if you would like to follow her.
Second, John Stepper takes on the fallacy of re purposing aspirational-only content widely available on the web and turning it into an executive pitch (my words, not his). Again, John also illustrates how his first stab was met with deer-in-headlights reaction. And how he got back in the ring to take another swing.
John describes how his firm started to show discrete value points and then used those to catapult benefit to other corners of the organizaiton. John is @johnstepper on Twitter if you would like to follow him.
I’m not going to elaborate any more. I can’t add anything of value that makes either of those posts better. Just go read them.
This entry is filed under Collaborative Organizations.
PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers just released its quarterly forecast that’s 68 pages of collaboration goodness. The report is edited and produced by Bo Barker, Vinod Baya and Alan Morrison.
The document covers three broad themes as summarized in the opening:
The collaboration paradox: More social information helps the workforce find what it’s looking for. First we had communication silos inside organizations. Now with e-mail and the Web, we’re all dealing with communications chaos. Paradoxically, the metadata—the context around the communications which new social technologies are now surfacing—offers the secret to eliminating communications chaos, moving enterprises closer to fully shared knowledge. Analytics that take advantage of this metadata are the first step.
Enterprise success with emerging social technology: Innovators are learning to build graphs to help users find the information they need—and each other. One thing enterprise have learned is that siloed, standalone consumer Web-style microblogging or social networking tools rarely work well inside an enterprise. Social technology that’s embedded in the enterprise application environment to offer collaborative support to specific business processes, or explicitly targeted at unifying all communications and collaboration, can be much more useful.
The CIO’s role in social enterprise strategy: Transforming collaboration demands an evolutionary approach. Before trying to add to the mix, take stock of how your workforce is collaborating to begin with. What’s the appropriate rationale for adopting a new tool in this case? By formulating an adoption process with goal setting and incentives appropriate to the business, CIOs can help business units position themselves for the collaboration and filtering potential of emerging social networking platforms.
If you’ve read this blog before, you can appreciate why this strand of all things enterprise social instantly appeals to me. Cut right over here to the report if you like.
Tom DeGarmo, Principal and Technology Partner at PwC sums up both the opportunity and problem well, using great analogies to living in Carmel-by-the-sea, saying:
The reality today is that we receive far more invitations to interact in the electronic domain than we ever did in the world of physical mail. Most of us already ignore many of them, leaving unread—and even unseen—vast numbers of electronic communications directed at us. But our approaches are inefficient and inaccurate—we often miss important messages while deleting low-value ones. We’re like the poor express mail delivery people trying to figure out which house a package should go to in Carmel.
A number of in depth interviews were conducted as well, including:
- Education: Building a new learning environment - Tony O’Driscoll, Duke University.
- Adding Social Networking to Business flow – Tim Young, Ex-CEO of Socialcast, now VP at VMWare.
- Harnessing the power of the graph – Keith Griffen, Cisco Systems.
- Why collaboration hasn’t changed much, yet – Sheldon Laube, PwC.
- I was privileged to chat with the PwC team on the topic of How Identity and Context become Productivity Drivers, inhibitors to successful uptake and the forces of social software proliferation that I break out into four camps: Pure play, ERP, HR and UC.
Couple of my favorite pieces from the repot:
1. I recently wrote a post about “Why Exception Handling should be the rule.” So, I was especially happy to see this report have good commentary on the topic.
2. Vendor diagrams are always subjective and can sometimes be of limited value when we try to force such horizontal technology offering into seemingly easy to consume grids/quadrants/tidal waves,etc. Coming from the execution consulting side of the house, I’m partial to analysis that does no more that provide a simple capability run down. Proper technology shortlisting can only come from really understanding process redesign by balancing traditional and social ways of work. This report doesn’t attempt to do any more than what’s reasonably practical to illustrate without access to each buyers market, business and process realities.
3. Tim Young, VP at VMWare and most recently, CEO at Socialcast prior to the VMWare purchase provides meaningful insight about the benefit to executives:
From an executive level, I think many companies don’t understand what is going on all the way down to the individual contributor level, and it’s because there just haven’t been tools that allow them to do that, especially qualitative tools. You can do surveys and polls, but you don’t get the ability for consistent real-time feedback from everyone in the organization—and that feedback is necessary to harness the collective human capital of the organization.
4. I love how Bill Hopkins at EZI (Egon Zehnder International), a well known executive search firm, simplifies the problem:
Bill Hopkins, EZI’s director of operations, discerned a gap between the two main processes that needed to be filled with something less structured than a database, more structured than a huddle, and not as overwhelming as e-mail. And something over which users would take ownership. “I wanted to eliminate IT as the middleman so the content would be the responsibility of the user community,” Hopkins says.
Finally, a far cry from all things social business muddy-yet-shiny, the report addresses how CIOs can start to approach 21st century collaboration in a performance centric way from the get go and provides a helping hand as they move from the inspiration to the perspiration phase of execution:
All up, it’s extremely refreshing to see analysis from the lens of an established consulting firm that needs to appeal to the broadest, most skeptical and most prestigious set of end customers out there who don’t quickly get inebriated on hype.
And the timing couldn’t be better: At this time, every Fortune 2000 CXO has been pitched by at least three social software vendors or has sanctioned/unsanctioned initiatives well under way at their organizations. The report also doesn’t try to jam jargon-y stuff down the readers throat (social business, enterprise 2.0 etc.) nor does it attempt to backfill social use cases into the business environment (in other words, the solution looking for a problem syndrome).
I really think it’s going to offer a palatable, marketing-free approach to many seasoned leaders genuinely looking to understand the value proposition of collaboration, 2011 style.
Sincere thanks to PwC for reaching out to me for comment. A link to the report, here.