Deloitte recently published its list of Top 10 Tech Trends for 2012. At the top of the Disruptors category is Social Business. 

The emergence of boomers as digital natives and the rise of social media in daily life have paved the way for social business in the enterprise. This is leading organizations to apply social technologies on social networks, amplified by social media, to fundamentally reshape how business gets done. Some of the initial successful use cases are consumer-centric, but business value is available – and should be realized – across the enterprise.


To get a greater understand of the trends IN social business, I sat down with Jive Chief Strategy Officer Christopher Morace.


http://m4.licdn.com/media/p/3/000/08b/1bc/129d551.jpgChris, what are the Top Trends in Social Business today?

Chris Morace: Social Business is at a very exciting stage of its maturity. It's becoming crystal clear that this is a massively disruptive solution touching the way we share knowledge, collaborate, find each other, make decisions, do work, and communicate within the enterprise. In many ways this is fantastic because the tools we've built over the last two decades haven't lived up to the job. They were built in a time that didn't even contemplate the volume and speed of information that needs to be processed in order to enable decision making and action in the modern enterprise.  They were designed around enabling organizations to optimize pre-determined process and control at the expense of agility. In this way, Social Business offers the most promise for a new and better way to work.

 

Recently, we have learned some things about what social needs to be great at in order to provide a solution that does not fail us like the previous generations of technology. The first is that Social Business Software must provide a way to effortlessly eliminate the noise and offer high value information based on context. This context can be everything from the knowledge of you based on a real time assessment of the social graph to the place you are or the type of work you are trying to do. Many vendors are mindlessly integrating into enterprise systems recreating the disastrous dead end that was email notifications and RSS readers. Initially, it was delightful to have information coming to you, but eventually the solution collapsed under its own weight. You can't ask a user to constantly manicure streams and manually adjust following models--it's too much overhead.

 

Systems are intelligent enough now to process information at scale, perform what they call big data analytics, and adapt intelligently and in a personalized way to a user. This is a massive investment for the providers of these solutions, but ultimately this is the heart and soul of social business. Having a system that mindlessly spins noise off into an activity stream does not make it social. Organizations are getting smart enough to understand the difference.

 

The second big learning is that a Social Business solution needs to touch and integrate into almost all aspects of the enterprise. The systems that contain content, the systems of record for critical business data, and the existing tools that enable productivity and communication.  The challenge here is that we can't approach this like we did in the past. We can't integrate into a system that breaks when one side upgrades and then the other side upgrades resulting in an endless dance of help desk tickets and IT projects.

 

On top of that we have this movement from the software systems of the past to the cloud driven services of the future. Most enterprises have not embraced the cloud yet in a meaningful way. Penetration and spend in the enterprise is still somewhere around 10%.  We must go to the systems that are being used by the enterprise today while still being mindful of the hundreds of new and exciting solutions being embraced each week.

 

The key here is to integrate in a way that is fluid with the way people use Social Business platforms to get their work done.  The content must stay in the systems that control access and compliance. The data must stay in the systems of record, but still be presented in a way that provides meaningful context. It sounds like an impossible task, but the solutions are in front of us.

 

Techniques that literally enable user driven and "no click" integration. Things like Jive Apps Market which allow a user to pull another solution inside of Jive--not just UI, but also actions and the ability to contextually pull data that resides in other systems into social activities.  Tools like Jive Anywhere that ride along in the browser, can recognize other applications like Salesforce, SAP, or Oracle and pull in context from a social business platform, but can also recognize data from those systems that a user may want to discuss on a social platform. These types of approaches allow IT to still be in control and protect the business, but allow a user to immediately get work done and fluidly adapt to a changing application ecosystem within their enterprise. It's really exciting.

 


What do you think? Comment below with your reactions to Chris' post or share your own social business trend.