Enterprise Social Media Usage Pays Off In Innovation And Knowledge Sharing

This concludes the survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), the global community of information professionals, authored by Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Digital Business and the AIIM Task Force on Social Business and Innovation.

The three-part white paper series, titled “When Social Meets Business Real Work Gets Done” make the case that organizations taking a “wait-and-see” approach to the emergence of social business ought to pick up the pace.

Key findings include:

– More than 60% of firms who did invest in collaborative frameworks achieved big gains in knowledge sharing and communication accuracy between marketing and sales.

– Open innovation delivers beneficial changes to both internal processes and external products, and is meeting the expectations of its sponsors. Open innovation helped realize major changes to the internal processes of 48% of respondents and to the external offerings of 34% of respondents.

– A 60% satisfaction rate was reported for organizations with a rewards-based enterprise-wide Q&A. Respondents said high-quality answers often come from unexpected sources, indicating that social tools are cultivating advanced knowledge sharing.

Dr. McAfee said in the press release:

“All three areas addressed by the Task Force demonstrate that when people engage properly with each other and with technology, trust, self-organization, and good business results emerge. The three use cases are true examples of social business because they depend on people with strong, weak and potential ties to organize their own workflows, roles and credentials.”

According to AIIM President, John Mancini:

“We are clearly moving into a new phase in social technologies, one in which the critical success factor will be the integration of social technologies into key organizational processes. The end objective should not be to simply set up social networks inside our organizations, but to actually make our organizations social. There is still a lot of work to be done to fulfill this potential, but the three use cases suggest that significant progress is happening inside business.”

Open innovation

The adoption of open innovation is “surprisingly widespread” as put by McAfee, “The survey found 26% of companies are currently participating in some form of open innovation. Of those, 90% reported that anyone within the company could contribute–but only 15% said outsiders (even pre-screened outsiders) were welcome to join the process,” according to Informationweek.

Social for social’s sake?

As correctly put by FierceContentManagement “as you would expect, given these results, AIIM is recommending that more companies use social software to facilitate better communication between marketing and sales”, focusing open innovation environments and adopting enterprise Q&A structures.

Mancini mentioned “The end objective should not be to simply set up social networks inside our organizations, but to actually make our organizations social”, but for what purpose does an organization wants to be social?

It alligns with Enterprise 2.0’s outlook, as coined by McAfee, namely “the end objective should not be to simply set up social networks inside our organizations, but to actually make our organizations social. Enterprise 2.0 aims to help employees, customers and suppliers collaborate, share, and organize information.”

There’s still a long way to go. Openess, beyond just being social, achieving competitive advantages and being able to deliver faster, cheaper and better products to customers is not being –fully- utilized. As the paper concludes on open innovation: only 15% said outsiders (even pre-screened outsiders) were welcome to join the open innovation process.

The inside needs to change to take the outside serious

Without better incorporating the outside, customer needs, anxieties, customer journeys cannot be taken as serious as they could be. Why? Because most internal organizations are focussed on cost, process efficiencies, product focussed and not customer focussed.

Social technologies can enable all this but only after culture and outlook are taken beyond “wanting to be social”.

What do you think of the survey’s open innovation results?

What stands out in the papers according to you?

By Gianluigi Cuccureddu

About the author:

Gianluigi CuccuredduGianluigi Cuccureddu, contributing editor, is an experienced writer specializing in innovation, open business, new media and marketing. He is also Managing Partner of the 90:10 Group, a global Open Business consultancy, which helps clients open their activity directly and indirectly to external stakeholders through the use of social media, its data and technologies for the purpose of competitive advantages in marketing, service- and product innovation.

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