Determining the benefits of a social business processes May 30, 2011

A lot has been made of social business processes and applications this year. Companies are focusing on collaborative technologies to bring more employees together to complete projects more quickly and efficiently.

Social business intelligence has proven to be among the most popular of these solutions. The technology allows companies to pool ideas and thoughts from a wide range of employees. That, in turn, lends more value to business data as various perspectives are taken into consideration.

Still, some companies aren’t convinced about the benefits of social business technology and it’s return on investment, according to a recent ebizQ report. And that’s key for many as they continue to recover from the economic recession and try to stretch every dollar as far as they can. But, with a little research, skeptical companies may see that social business processes can help them do just that.

According to report author Dion Hinchcliffe, an independent business strategist and enterprise architect, there are three main aspects of a social workplace.

“Many organizations will make these changes organically and eventually end up with an environment [focused on social] … though it will develop more on its own than some internal business leaders would probably like,” Hinchcliffe wrote. “Other organizations will deliberately attempt to get there more quickly and will have slightly more control over the outcome.”

Implementing a social network for use among workers is the first element identified in the report. Many internal social networks consist of rich user profiles that connect workers. According to Hinchcliffe, “The connections you have – and with whom – determine your sphere of influence and ability to get things done as much, if not more, than the traditional grapevine of old.”

Observable work is another necessary social element. Just like with their personal social networking profiles, employees should use their internal pages to conduct projects, tasks, documents, and collaboration sessions. And because they are in a social media setting they are open to greater participation.

Finally, and here’s where social business intelligence can come in, social workplaces should foster insight and analysis. All employees should feel comfortable enough to offer their own thoughts on business data, meetings or projects.

According to the recently released State of Business Intelligence survey from the BeyeNETWORK, 30.8 percent of respondents predicted a dramatic increase in demand for overall BI services and a total of 50.8 percent see either a slight or dramatic increase for the integration of social BI.


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