Social Behind the Firewall @ info360: Transforming Enterprise Collaboration

This year’s info360 brought AIMCLEAR eastward to the Big Apple for some tech-tastic brainchow and fabulous city cuisine to boot. The main buzz among conference speakers and attendees was a convergence of enterprise and IT professionals focused on information sharing, communication, and collaboration. Exciting stuff – more businesses are transforming away from traditional intranets and toward two-way interactive collaboration platforms. It’s all about bringing social into the office. Which makes for very happy employees 🙂 .

Welcome Web 2.0 for the Enterprise!
Enterprise 2.0 is the act of leveraging social technologies within an organization. For example, Facebook provides users with a personal account to communicate with friends and family members outside the firewall. Similarly, enterprise social collaboration software provides employees with a system to interact with other employees within the confines of the organization. The basis of such interaction occurs through wall posts and status updates to one or more topic groups within the organization, which are then searchable by other users with appropriate access credentials.

When it comes to Enterprise 2.0… this isn’t your grandma’s Facebook. Enterprise social collaboration is for serious business, like the multi-national businesses such as Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens that have used collaboration platforms a la Salesforce and Jive Engage to adopt social networking within the organization.

Toolmakers such as Box and Yammer demonstrated how they have helped innovative CIOs break down traditional information barriers, improve employee engagement, and transform businesses in the face of today’s social revolution.

Stop Reinventing the Wheel!
Companies who have successfully deployed social collaboration have stopped trying to reinvent the wheel. Users are better equipped to locate hard-to-reach information and reduce rework by leveraging previous work from colleagues. At the core, companies leveraging enterprise 2.0 technologies have created:

  • A place for staff to share their voice in the organization.
  • A place for users to connect with and leverage internal resources.
  • A place to break down silos that have divided companies for years.

These are three areas that have traditionally siphoned enormous amounts of creative energy through inefficiency and weak job satisfaction.

Businesses embracing social networking behind the firewall have helped stimulate workforce motivation and increase job satisfaction by providing all employees with a voice in a platform that inherently provides recognition.

User adoption has been higher than expected and innovative cloud-based add-on solutions have created that rare win-win situation between business and IT leadership. New ideas are flowing upward from within the organization at a faster pace and new efficiencies are being gained in ways previously unforeseen. Meanwhile, end users report that, while social collaboration doesn’t replace email, it does allow coworkers to share valuable experiences and find information quickly from within a diverse organization.

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