Social Technologies Are Here to Stay — But CIOs Must Tread Carefully!

In my previous post, I highlighted how social technologies will drive businesses to focus on the complete customer experience and why organizations must plan ahead to stay competitive. We expect most organizations to increase their investments in social technologies. But to drive business value (and reduce risks), CIOs must be proactive in managing the coming invasion of consumer-driven social technology.

  • Expect investments in social technologies to grow across Asia Pacific. Discussions with both IT buyers and vendors confirm that social technology adoption and usage are growing across the region. The data below shows the likelihood to spend on social technologies over the coming year. Economies like Malaysia (92%), Korea (86%), and India (70%) are most keen on spending, whereas Australia (31%), China (30%), and Singapore (26%) all lag. This is likely due to growth economies like Malaysia and India ramping up their initial investments in areas like collaboration and knowledge management, both of which are already well-established in more mature IT markets like Australia and Singapore. China stands out as an anomaly among other mature markets chiefly because of language-specific needs.

 

 

  • Avoid drinking old wine in a new bottle. In an attempt to jump on the bandwagon, many vendors are attaching the term “social” to as many tools and technologies as possible. This misuse has created confusion among senior decision-makers, who are often sold the wrong product under the banner of social technologies. Forrester has identified seven technologies that we believe fit best under the broad label of social technologies: collaboration tools (Microsoft SharePoint, Cisco products), knowledge management (IBM Lotus Connections, RightAnswers), social networking platforms (LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook), social media sites (Twitter, Yammer), social software (SocialText, Jive Engage, Drupal), social analytics (Telligent Systems, salesforce.com’s Radian6), and social computing communities (Blogger, WordPress). In an effort to lend some structure to this jigsaw puzzle, Forrester has created a social technologies matrix that incorporates unique implementation scenarios. While more details can be found in this report, here’s a sneak peek at the matrix:

 

  • Formalize social objectives and metrics and adopt the tools that best address them. While there are multiple products under the banner of social technologies that organizations can choose from, the CIO’s office must select tools/solutions that solve business needs and work well with existing technology investments. Forrester believes that organizations failing to integrate social technology into their broader architecture will soon face “social technology chaos,” where social tools/solutions get deployed in silos and fail to provide the expected value to information workers within the organization.

If you are a senior decision-maker and facing similar issues with your investments in social technologies, I’d be keen to chat more with you. Please leave a comment or send me an email at sgogia (at) forrester (dot) com.

Comments

CIOs have told me they are

CIOs have told me they are working on infusing "Social" into enterprise apps. And I've seen prrof of concepts. Vendors like IBM have also shown me enterprise grade social media apps. But on the user adoption side it's a different story. Users are more comfortable using consumer social networking sites such as Facebook. Why even Linkedin might be considered "consumer" with some organizations blocking it out, particularly because of its job board. When you are hiring people straight out of university, what do you expect?
--Brian Pereira, InformationWeek