Wouldn’t it be great to have a big red “Ask” button on your mobile phone, iPad, and browser that instantly connects you to everyone in your organization when you need something? And how great would it be to have a big green “Share” Button to update you teammates and management on your work, interests, and experiences? Better yet, the big buttons were smart enough to connect you to the right people, without spamming or bothering those who weren’t available. And what if it was fast, easy, and inexpensive to turn on?
I ask these somewhat silly questions because most people would say that if these simple buttons existed, they’d want them tomorrow. If it was cost effective, I doubt we’d form an Ask/Share Button Purchase Committee to analyze the product for six months like we would for implementing a complex business system… or would we?
It’s interesting to see how quickly some companies are leveraging social while others are in a state of analysis paralysis. With every fast mover who sees that an enterprise social tool could be a massive competitive weapon, you have the company that is so frustrated by the ineffectiveness of their legacy e-mail, document sharing, and groupware systems that they are somewhat cautious to analyze social software. It’s understandable to analyze something that would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per user, but a tool that costs a few dollars a month wouldn’t pose as much risk.
My big button scenario is just a metaphor for what enterprise social is supposed to be, the most modern, fast, and easy (no training) way to tap into the collective knowledge of the organization from anywhere. It’s an inexpensive way to help us be more engaged with one another in a few days, for a few dollars per person, not millions of dollars a year to maintain.
There are thousands of companies and millions of workers connected on social solutions. Companies are saving millions of dollars a year by gaining operation efficiencies and better responding to opportunities and risk. If you are a leader in your organization and want to understand the strategic benefit of social, it really is all about increasing the organizations effectiveness and productivity. Don’t take my word for. Simply search the web for research by highly respected analysts and research organizations and you will see countless reports stating that social software is already helping large and small companies. Take this McKinsey study on the organizations embracing modern collaboration tools:
- 77% see faster access to knowledge
- 60% reduce their communication costs
- 52% access internal experts faster
- 44% cut their travel costs
- 41% increase employee satisfaction
Many of you will probably agree that our legacy e-mail, document sharing, and groupware solutions are beginning to make our lives difficult with jam-packed inboxes, and content that is stale or impossible to find. Maybe it’s time to dial back the complexity a bit and try a new way of engaging with one another in our organizations. How long can you wait to see if enterprise social will help your company save or make money? The big buttons are there if you want them.
For more information, contact Roman Bartik at firstname.lastname@example.org.