Friday, February 18, 2011

New Whitepaper: Becoming a Social Business

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IDC has just released a new whitepaper called "Becoming a Social Business". The timing for this whitepaper couldn't be better as we are all getting settled from an amazing week at Lotusphere #ls11 where the theme was Social Business. IDC believes social networking applications are now becoming a huge business opportunity. At the same time, it notes that some places still fear social networking applications because they may lead to wasted time.

In the whitepaper, IDC quotes a study it made titled Social Business Survey where 41% of respondents said they were using social software. 35% of respondents believe that social software has increased productivity in the workplace! If I'm doing my math correctly, 85% of those using social software have seen an increase in productivity, with some noting up to 30% in time savings. I think the tide is turning and 2011 is going to be a tipping point where more organizations are going to rely on social collaboration tools to become more agile and beat their competitors.

To further prove that social collaboration is valuable, IDC partnered with IBM and conducted various interviews with different divisions of IBM to understand how they were using social software to accelerate innovation, provide deeper customer/employee relationships, and achieve quicker decision-making capabilities. I was one of the interviewees along with Luis Suarez and Rawn Shah.

For each interview, IDC compiled a list of "challenges", "tipping points" and "results / ROI". In other words, it lists what challenges existed, what caused a particular individual or department to embrace social business, and what have been the benefits/value obtained since becoming a social business. Towards the end of the whitepaper, IDC captures some best practices that may help kick start adoption of social software inside of your enterprise.

If you are thinking about becoming a social business, but have doubts as to its value, this whitepaper is for you. To download the free whitepaper, go here.

The whitepaper is 12 pages long and available in PDF so it's easy to store in your iPad (or favorite eReader) to read on the go. What do you think of the whitepaper? Is it something you are going to distribute to your customers?
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