The Business of Social
Social and the Enterprise
Next week Thursday (January 13th) is Tech@Tuck, an annual part of the Britt Technology Impact Series and a day for the Tuck community to talk about what's happening in Technology. This year the topic is "Social & The Enterprise." Having spent 10 years before Tuck working in enterprise technology, I am happy to start this discussion about how social media has entered that world.
Even two years ago, most enterprise IT organizations were not spending time discussing "social" tools. Facebook and Twitter were often looked at as employee-time-wasters and certainly not tools for enterprise collaboration. But social had already entered the enterprise in the form of wikis and blogs. It was common for companies to provide some digital employee profile on the intranet, but often functionality was limited to displaying a name, title, phone number, and photo. Often employees were looking outside company-provided tools to build their profesional network, connecting to co-workers on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Without a company-provided secure means of collaborating with their co-workers, they looked to other ways of communiating.
But companies are realizing that controling and using that social network information has value to the business. Like many other aspects of technology, the consumerization of IT is present in social media. Enterprises are taking what works in the consumer world and using it in the corporate world. We've begun to see a shift in how social media is used as a tool within the enterprise and a number of social media tools for the enterprise have recently made their way onto the market. Of course there is Salesforce Chatter - a very Facebook-like experience for Salesforce.com users that facilitates secure enterprise social networking. Another offering is Jive - offering an "enterprise-scale social business solution" that includes social networking and collaboration tools. Yammer offers many of these same collaboration and social networking tools, but lists "enterprise microblogging" as one its key features, offering a more Twitter-like tool for enterprise customers. A quick review of the Wikipedia entry for Enterprise Social Software reveals that this is still a developing and losely defined set of tools with many large, like Google and Microsoft, as well as small players.
We'd love to hear from you on your experiences with social and the enterprise. Please join in with comments and join us for the "Social & The Enterprise" panel discussion at 4:45 on Thursday, January 13th.