Enterprise Social Business Challenges

This panel discussion took place at the SWCONF 2012 with the following participants:

Angela Ashenden, Principal Analyst, Collaboration, MWD Advisors (Panel Chair)

Neil Campbell, Head, Products & Marketing, brightsolid

Lee Provoost, Head of Strategy & Transformation, Dachis Group

George Reynolds, Managing Director, CloudsMatter (Qontext UKIE Partner)

Question: what are the top challenges to developing an enterprise social business strategy?

  1. Neil, brightsolid: Think about the requirements for what you need to achieve holistically, then take your decisions.  Going about the planning of your strategy another way will create real challenges.
  2. George, CloudsMatter: Many people fail to adopt social technology because of silos.  If any new applications are seen as “stand alone” and not part of the systems they currently use, they’re not likely to be well adopted by the target users.
  3. Lee, Dachis Group: The organisation’s failure to realise the scale of the project.  It can take years to actually implement changes inside a business.  Without proper planning, projects can fail or end up costing much more than was ever intended.

Question: What should you do before you take the leap?

  1. Neil, brightsolid: Identify the real pain points and identify the long term aspirations.
  2. George, CloudsMatter: Look carefully at which applications are critical in your organisation.  Getting innovators and leaders to promote and use new tools once they are implemented is absolutely key.
  3. Lee, Dachis Group: Try a pilot, but beware this will only lead you to a limited level of understanding about the long term value for the organisation.

Question: Do you have some examples of where you’ve seen companies fail to develop an Enterprise Social Business Strategy?

  1. Neil, brightsolid: This can happen when an organisation tries to do a roll out with an entirely top-down approach and when there are no real champions lower down in the organisation.  If there is no one really owning the solution, it’ll not be implemented effectively.
  2. George, CloudsMatter: A social workplace is a very human thing, it’s when organisations don’t give employees the tools they need in one place that failure becomes more likely.
  3. Lee, Dachis Group: Some industries have a real culture of secrecy and trying to get employees to collaborate online simply won’t work in secretive organisations.