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Posted by Rob Koplowitz on April 3, 2012
Forrester fields hundreds of client inquiries each year on the topic of social business and collaboration. And the trend doesn't appear to be slowing. Often the first question is, "How far behind are we?" Well here's the data. You judge for yourself. According to Forrester survey data from 1,332 executives and IT decision-makers:
At the most basic level, just over half are still on the sidelines. And of the 49% only 19% describe their investment as "implemented, not expanding." So, the early adopters are already active and have been for a while. The laggards are lagging (it's kind of what they do). And the rest represent those asking, "How far behind are we?"
The answer could well be "very far behind." While investment in social media is not yet pervasive, the goals we hear from clients are remarkably consistent and in the enterprise they tend to revolve around four major goals:
So, the stakes associated with social business and collaboration are high. The payoff could be competitive advantage in the market. And here's the kicker. It's really hard to do this right. And if you're the CIO, you don't have the resources in your organization to drive success. So when the CEO asks to figure out social business and collaboration you need to respond, "That's not my job, that's our job. As in all of our jobs."
Let's start with executive support. If the executive team is not ready to support the disruptions that come with running a social business, find another area to invest in. This stuff drives change. If that's not what your executives are looking for, you're wasting precious time and resources.
Make no mistake, successful implementation of social business and collaboration solutions requires standard IT diligence and the usual roles to apply it. Driving success from a technical perspective requires:
However, traditional IT approaches to implementation will only get you part of the way to success with social business and collaboration. The rest of the journey requires participation from a number of existing non-IT roles and some that are only now emerging:
A key role that is often not funded and where skills are only now being defined is that of:
In upcoming research and at our CIO Forum in Las Vegas on May 3rd and 4th, Forrester will delve into the topic of delivering on the social business imperative.
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