How can you leverage enterprise social network and other social software tools to improve business performance? Recently we have come across an insightful report by the Deloitte Center for the Edge that addresses this issue.
The report states that:
“social software has the potential to address operational ‘pain points’ and significantly enhance business performance in the short-term and transform it in the long-term. Companies that embrace this opportunity will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.”
Today businesses operate in the world of near constant disruption and intense competition, employees increasingly face an array of non-routine issues. Enterprise social networks offer tools to effectively and efficiently resolve them. This is why executives cannot afford to ignore them:
“Social software has unique capabilities to improve exception handling with tools that enable dynamic and informal communication to connect people more easily and provide the ability to search and create across knowledge flows.”
Deloitte outlines five capabilities of enterprise social networks that help to improve business performance and improve exception handling:
1. Identify Expertise. Expedites problem solving and learning as people can easily connect on topics of mutual interest.
2. Facilitate cross-boundary communication & conversation. Knowledge flows across the organisation as conversations transcend silos and hierarchies.
3. Preserve institutional memory. Knowledge and context are preserved, improving the usefulness of information.
4. Harness distributed knowledge. Intelligence is pooled to address problems and drive innovation and the creation of new knowledge.
5. Discover emerging opportunities. Identify opportunities for innovation and gain insight into potential communication gaps.
Deloitte also shares insight into good implementation strategy. For example, focusing only on the number of users as a launch success metric does not guarantee sustainable success. It is vital to focus on pain points with the potential to impact organisational performance and hone in on enterprise social network capabilities that can best address the pain point. By targeting high impact opportunities, companies can generate direct and measurable operating results and improve business performance. Lack of such focus often leads to limited impact of enterprise social networks.
Early adopters of enterprise social networks have the potential to reap financial rewards. Sceptics will likely finish last.
Prepared on the basis of Deloitte’s Social Software for Business Performance report.