Investments in Social Technologies Climb – Study
Wednesday, 28th November 2012 at 9:04 am
A new report by US based IT giant, IBM finds that while companies are increasing their social technology investments, middle management leaders are struggling to embrace these capabilities as part of their day-to-day work.
IBM’s survey of 1,160 business and IT professionals shows that while 46% of the organisations increased their investments in social technologies in 2012, only 22% believed that managers are prepared to incorporate social tools and approaches into their daily practices.
Despite intentions to rapidly accelerate social initiatives, many companies are still figuring out whether real returns can be gained on social investments. Two-thirds of respondents were not sure they sufficiently understood the impact that social technologies would have on their organisations over the next three years.
According to a new IBM report entitled, ‘The Business of Social Business: What Works and How It’s Done,’ companies at the forefront of this trend are doing more than developing a presence on major social platforms. A social business embeds social technologies into core business processes, and then applies the technologies to drive customer-facing activities such as lead generation, sales and post-sales service.
“Businesses are struggling to make sense of the vast amount of data generated from social networks”, Kevin Custis, Vice President and Global Leader Social Business and Mobility Services, IBM Global Business Services said.
“To transform a vision into a reality, executive leadership must guide middle management on the value of being a social business, and build company-wide support for the use of social practices across organizational functions.”
“As demonstrated in the study, the key to accelerating widespread adoption lies in an organisation’s ability to build social business expertise among employees, while encouraging behavioral changes that may influence a wider cultural shift.
“However, only one-quarter of companies believe they are fully prepared to address the cultural changes that are associated with this transformation.
“The IBM report suggests that for organisations to evolve into social enterprises, some basic groundwork must be laid. At the most basic level, management must provide an infrastructure for engagement — setting up forums, teamrooms and collaborative spaces. Once in place, social practices should be integrated into day-to-day work activities.”
For example, the report says the use blog posts and activity streams can positively accentuate project management tasks.The organisation must also create the capability to understand where and how data generation could benefit the enterprise. Finally, it says, management must teach employees how to collaborate effectively with individuals outside of the organisation’s boundaries, using social business methods and tools.