Category Archives: Collaboration

Use Surveys to Find Collaboration Hot Spots within your Organization…


You have started the effort to introduce Social Business tenets within your organization.  Maybe you spoke to different business groups, you captured some key data on business processes, and have identified key stakeholders who could be part of your Social Business Program.

Hopefully you have executive support at the “CxO” level to have political support to continue the Social journey.   You will also need to speak to IT to understand the legacy technologies and new strategies coming in their roadmap.  Hopefully, your IT organization publishes its roadmap, but if they do not, you will need to work with executive relationships in order to understand and discover key projects that may impact your efforts.

Lots of HOPE…but….what if you don’t have executive support, or you have no quantitative data to show the organizational “pain” of being stuck in the web 1.0 world?  How can you discover the hard data that will allow you to tell the “Social” story? 

Simple, perform a survey….geared to the whole organization in order to understand how much time and effort they are wasting performing simple day-to-day tasks around collaboration.  In order to build that Social story, you need to create a day-in-the-life scenario from multiple levels in the organization.   This is a key point, it will be difficult enough to tell a story to a wide range of persons without having a connection to the various levels within the organization.  Upper management has a different experience sharing and obtaining information than lets say standard employees and lower management.  Conversely, there is more perceived risk in being a Social Business for senior execs than lower management and standard employees.

So below is examples of survey questions I have used to have created a complete story of the Collaborative pain points within the organization, building the narrative for transforming the company into more of a Social Business culture. 

I will show sample questions for several processes and technologies.  For many of the questions we want to capture the maximum and minimum times so we can average out the time allotted for each action.  This provides a better statistical distribution for more realistic results, which leads to realistic analysis of the efforts for employees and management.

Average time spent per day to complete the following tasks.

1. LOOKING FOR EXPERT or NEW INFORMATION (Looking for who is best qualified to answer a particular question or help out with an issue)  

This is a very typical problem with many organizations.  Most people do not leverage the corporate directory, and have poor enterprise search capabilities

2. SHARING OR SENDING INFORMATION MORE THAN ONCE(Duplicate requests for your information that you provide to others) –

This is probably one of the biggest pain point I have seen in any company.  Many companies have document or content publishing, but they can be spread across several systems that are not interconnected.  Many informational data types are documents which can take up large amounts of mailbox quotas or hard drives. 

3. SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION FOR MY OWN PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES or INITATIVES to get my job done (excluding meetings)

So this is another pain point that frustrates business processes owners and process consumers.  This will show just how poor the Search optimization efforts are, the lack of Content Management System & Processes, or how Siloed your company is when you cannot find the “RIGHT” or relevant information.  This is where a Social Business provides the ecosystem forming a “PULL” culture.  Employees can “PULL” information they need, to whatever device they choose, whenever they need it.

Working Across LOBs and Functions

1. Number of PROJECTS/PROGRAMS MANAGED PER WEEK (An activity is here defined as a set of tasks to reach an objective which requires the collaboration of several employees; (it can be a project, a sales or administrative process)

This question can be used to see how user’s work in their daily life.  Do they work within their own BU/Function, or do they regularly have the need to collaborate across the organization?

2. Percentage of the people you work with are inside your business Unit

3. Estimated days spent per month on BUSINESS TRIPS

While face-to-face is the preferred method of meeting for many people, having a robust collaborative infrastructure can alleviate the need for short 1-2 day or overnight  trips which for large number of employees become expensive.

Daily tools used to collaborate: How much time spent in each tool per day?

1. Phone (mobile or office phone)

2. Email

3. File Sharing (in Workspaces)

4.Intranet

5. Web Conferencing

6. In-Person Meetings

Collaboration requirements – What value do you see with the following capabilities?

High – Medium – Low – No Value – Capability unknown to me

1. A SINGLE Platform for Employees to share Knowledge, Blogs, Threaded Discussions, Forums, and Community-Based groups (i.e. Community of Practices, Community of Interest, Community of Experts) for information sharing and topics of interest?

2. Video conferencing?

3. Video Conferencing Room?

4. Desktop-to-Desktop Video conferencing?

5. To deliver collaboration capabilities to Mobile Devices?  Blackberry iPHONE, Android & Other Smartphones (Leading towards a BYOD opportunity)

6. Have a single Voice-mail for your desk and mobile phones? (unified messaging)

7. Instant messaging\Chatting\Presence Awareness embedded in: Intranet, Extranet, Various Web-Based Applications?

8. The need to collaborate with External customers and partners in a Centralized platform?

What do you think? (open questions)

1. From a collaboration point of view, what are the two most critical processes to be improved?

2. What are the two main barriers for collaboration in the organization?

Final Points

So this survey will provide some key metrics in understanding the state of collaboration within the organization.  What you should be looking for is the time spent collaborating within the organization, in how efficient and open collaboration is.  The results of this survey can be used to create a strong narrative in determining where to frame , how incorporating a Social Business culture in the organization.

The value however is in how to interpret the data collected from the survey.  Building the story of collaborative and business process challenges is one of the best ways to get executives and business stakeholders to recognize how moving the organization towards making the business more “Social”…..

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Collaboration has changed….are YOU Ready for the “Empowered Enterprise”?


When I began working on Collaboration within organizations over 15+ years ago, it was called “Messaging & Collaboration”.  Email was the primary collaboration medium and it was an excellent technology.  Other than in-person meetings or voice calls for collaboration, email allowed collaboration over distances between multiple persons or groups.  Document Collaboration was most popular amongst the collaborators via email , yet unknown to us practioners, siloes were being formed.  If you were not on the email thread you were out of the conversation.  Email, Instant Messaging, Portals,  and other collaborative technologies increased the abilities of users to collaborate and work more effectively, yet silos still were being formed and thus existed as barriers to true leveraging of Collective Intelligence.  Just being able to collaborate on documents, projects, send large attachments, and instantly communicate did not fundamentally transform the enterprise to leverage the “Collective Intelligence” of organizations.  In order to capture this intelligence, we have recently seen the explosion of a Social Networking paradigm within the enterprise paralleling the advent of Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace, etc.  It is now called “Social Business”, and it is a great term because it encompasses internal and external communications that occur within business. Linking people across the enterprise along with business processes can unleash new avenues of innovation and empowerment.   This new type of Enterprise Collaboration when mixed with Social Business concepts allowing the growth of an organization’s Collective Intelligence creates what I call the Empowered Enterprise”.

Enterprise Collaboration key tenets

First is Informational Acceleration.  Today Information is produced and shared with rapid availability both inside and outside the firewall.  Digital Information is now produced natively and organizations must review their existing information lifecycles to architect methods to provide that information to enterprise & public consumers over digital mediums.   When a company is slow to adapt to changing business climates, you can be sure their competition is not waiting…all markets are too competitive for companies to take their time in adapting the Collaboration Strategy to their Business Strategy.  Innovation comes without warning, from anywhere at anytime.  With the internet, information is now available globally.  Enterprises need to be adaptable and agile to leverage these rapid advancements in order to maintain competitive advantage.

Second is the Technology available to foster this collaboration of digital content.  Sharepoint, JIVE, IBM Connections, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, NewsGator, SalesForce.com’s CHATTER, and many other collaborative platforms provide the technology necessary to provide the ecosystem needed to lubricate the Collective Intelligence efforts.   The advancements of Cloud Computing & Mobile Devices have provided new capabilities IT teams can now leverage to deploy these various technologies with little up front investment necessary to capture value. 

Third is the Consumerization effect on collaboration that has swept into every company.  With the advent of the Internet, almost all types of collaboration is now possible, interacting with anyone from anywhere at anytime.  Employees (& business units) experience this outside the office and cannot understand why IT cannot provide the same level of capabilities at the same cost…(Low or Free!).  This phenomenon has led to challenges to IT and CIOs who are trying to balance collaboration capabilities with legislative regulations around data protection.  An example of this is evident with Mobile Devices;  tablets, Smartphones, Blackberry, Android & Apple devices, Windows Mobile devices, and others are incredibly powerful and capable devices,  empowering the consumer’s and their Collective Intelligence, and the enterprise is still struggling to catch up and understand the “value” and justify the rational of a ‘”BYOD” (Bring your own device) mindset to the Enterprise.

The Fourth tenet is the Perceptions\Expectations of new employees coming into the workforce. These Millennials or Generation “F” (Facebook) employees grew up with the speed and availability of information as normal as playing with conventional toys were to older employees.  To them, not having these advanced collaboration capabilities means your enterprise is old-fashioned, restrictive, and too slow to provide them the instant gratification they grew up with.  To this add the fact younger employees have a different perspective and outlook on the world; the lines between companies and cultures are blurred to them, they tend to be more altruistic than older employees.  Younger workers have been empowered by their parents and teachers their whole lives and expect to experience the same level of empowerment in the enterprise….with little restrictions or rules…You may not like to hear it, but it is a reality.

Collaboration and the expectations around how workers share information, knowledge, and ideas has certainly changed.  How will your organization prepare to become the Empowered Enterprise?

Focus on People

I believe the key to the Empowered Enterprise is to first focus on PEOPLE, vis-à-vis the culture of the company.  Your culture dictates directly how your organization effectively collaborates, innovates, moves at the pace of information and is competitive.  If your culture is built on a Command & Control model, you are not leveraging your greatest corporate asset…the Tacit Knowledge each employee has and wants to share!  The sense of belonging to a larger social consciences that can change the organization for the better.  Generally, employees want to do more and give to the company their best effort.  Companies need to have faster decision making processes, empowering employees to perform under the new global business climates.  Command & Control cultures prohibit that empowerment and cause frustration, limiting your company’s ability to innovate and adapt to changing business conditions.

In order to craft the Empowered Enterprise leveraging a Social Collaborative Program, a very strong Change Management Program must be architected within your company.  This Change Management Program needs to have some key components in order to be successful.

Key Change Management Points

1. Identifying groups & communities of practice within the company that are already successful who can be enlisted to demonstrate value and to commercialize to other employees the tacit value of this new type of collaboration.  Community Managers will help train employees how to work within this new ecosystem, and this builds the WIIFM (What’s in it For Me) use cases and helps spread adoption and acceptance.

2. Strong Top-Down sponsorship for a Community Management Program; dedicated employees to act as advocates for this new way of collaboration.  Community Managers engaging across all levels of the organization will be key to combat resistance from personal who see this new collaboration paradigm as a direct threat to their established power base.  Senior Management must openly endorses Communities of Practice (CoP), Communities of Interest (CoI), and Communities of Experts (CoE);  drivers to empower employees and bridge silos, it can lead to rapid acceptance and adoption.

3. Communication, Communication, Communication!….too much communication is not enough in this effort.  It will be key to send out frequent communications on how this new collaborative culture can benefit the employees, the company, and lead to greater organizational performance…video communications are powerful enablers to link faces to the overall effort in changing the culture.  Show how segments of the organization are becoming more successful within the new collaborative ecosystem, and others will want to follow.

4. Patience and Expectation Management will be key as not all of the organization will jump to embrace this new collaborative culture.  Remember, collaboration is about people, and change is not comfortable for everyone.   Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) linked to qualitative and quantitative values can be helpful to demonstrate value and drive acceptance and adoption.  But keep in mind you will NEVER have 100% of the users actively contributing.  Choose your KPIs carefully and define success using realistic measures.

5. Do NOT deploy the technology platform will ALL features and functionality on Day One.  If you deploy with too many capabilities, you could confuse your employees and they will see the platform as just another tool.  I recommend identifying key capabilities and deploying with a minimum of functionality enough to on-board the users.  Publish a roadmap of capabilities to spur interest, excitement, and provide another reason to return to the platform. 

6. Do not be too restrictive in the beginning of the deployment.  Allow for Communities and Groups to be created by all users.  Provide awareness training to solicit good behavior and best practice, but don’t be too authoritarian or you will have users complaining about Command & Control behaviors and they could abandon the platform.  Make the idea of using this new Social Collaborative Platform fun and promote an openness for users to share.  Remove as many barriers to resistance as possible.  Vocalize the use and promote early adopters.

In Closing…

You need to understand in todays’ world information control is really an illusion.  Technology has enabled people to access information from anywhere, anytime, at a rapid pace.  Instead of trying to control the information flows,  it is better to channel it approriately.  Employees today are being asked to do more with less, and the business climate has forced companies to prioritize investments in technology choices.   Align the technology with business models fostering employee and customer empowerment, and an organization’s culture can become its greatest asset if allowed to flourish and prosper in alignment of these business goals.

Collaboration is no longer just about processes and technology.  It cannot be, as the speed of information and available choices in business-to-business and consumer buying behaviors has forced organizations to evolve or lose market share.  Certainly each organization has to tailor its culture to maximize its business model, but to compete at a global level, you need to unleash your greatest asset; your people, empower them by establishing a open culture devoid of roadblocks and bureaucracy. Give them the atmosphere to create, innovate, and share information openly.  This cultural shift of empowerment has to come from every level of the organization.  It must be communicated from the CEO all the way down.  Foster and reward that culture of empowerment and you will see how your company becomes the “Empowered Enterprise”.

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One-Sixteenth of an inch is all that separates us….


One-Sixteenth of an inch is all that separates us from each other.  “I’m not going to be so petty as to let one-sixteenth of an inch come between us! We need each other’s wisdom and encouragement. We may be different cultures, nationalities and skin colors; but let’s remember we are all God’s children”…

So here I was listening to Television Preacher talk about our racial differences, different prejudices and how it limits our ability to reach and connect with God.   How long-held beliefs could limit us from becoming the person God wants us to be.  This man spoke how when we get to heaven there is NOT going to be a section for all different religions, races, creeds, how we are all going to be together in God’s presence.

This man went on to speak about “Invisible Walls”, and when you go beyond those walls you never know what is on the other side.  How we are all from different groups, different backgrounds, yet how we need to break through those “Invisible Walls”.  To get past traditions of separation; “this is the way we used to do things”…so we can all come together…to accomplish something special…

So while I was listening to this man, I thought that I could take what he was saying, without any moral equivalency of course, and transmute that message to how Organizations move to becoming a true Social Business. I mean look at what the parallels are, and they are striking:

Leads to Prejudices Prejudice & People Prejudice & Organizations
“Invisible Walls” (ignorance of other’s way of thinking and why) x x
Different Groups (religious groups or organizational towers) x x
Different Geographies (align with culture differences) x x
Different Beliefs(religious, doctrines) x x
Different Cultures & Traditions (how we do things here…) x x
Unwilling to adopt new ideas x x
Not from my “neighborhood\business unit” x x

So we can see from this table, there are in fact some parallels in both how we rationalize and quantify prejudice against people and organizational prejudices.  Again there is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCY, but the fact is if you take the table above, and inject Enterprise 2.0\Social Business doctrines, you can break down the same types of prejudice within the organization:

  • I am in the US division, and those Europeans’ analyze too much..
  • Those Americans rush to decisions without taking all the factors into account…
  • IT guys always say “NO”. They don’t understand my needs.
  • My manager is in another continent.  He can’t understand me…and doesn’t care about me…
  • I cannot believe that guy\girl was made a manager…I would be better than him\her…
  • India outsourcers don’t know how to think out of the box…
  • Those Europeans workers are always on vacation…they are lazy…
  • Finance thinks it is all about money, they don’t care about customers…
  • My department knows how to run correctly…
  • I can’t stand working with that group..
  • I feel like no one understands me in this company…
  • Those guys the factory are useless, and who cares what they think…
  • So in looking at these above statements, I am sure you have heard or said some of them before in your own company.  With the advent of Enterprise 2.0\Social Business platforms, there may now be the method to break down those prejudices, to break through the “Invisible Walls”.

    Capability Effect on Organization
    Discussions\Forums Start to talk & engage with each other…
    Communities
    (CoP, CoI, CoE)
    Bring different groups together…under common points…to find consensus..
    Ranking\Rating show true knowledge & verify expertise from others
    Microblogging Communicate
    Blogs Post opinion and get feedback.  Engage..Share ideas…
    Wikis Teach others, learn from others…

    Enterprise 2.0\Social Business is meant to allow companies to come together for common purposes. To be able to break down those organizational silos, those Invisible Walls built up over long periods of time. To be able to openly communicate & collaborate in ways we never thought possible.  To find common ground, dispelling long held traditions that different parts of the company could not work together at all levels.  To break down the Passive Resistance that often derails what the leadership envisioned for the company.

    Maybe I am too idealistic, but since almost one-third of our lives are spent at work, if our companies embraced a culture of inclusion, acceptance, tolerance, empathy, diversity of thought, sharing of new ideas, and promotes organizational harmony…the very traits of a Social Business or an Enterprise 2.0 organization…perhaps this would trickle into our personal lives and effect the way we think about a great many things….

    So the bottom line is there is only One-Sixteenth of an inch that separates us…let us see how we can move past that to work together.   We need each other’s wisdom and encouragement, and while we may be from different cultures and backgrounds, we should all strive to work together…under one company….

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    Why is SalesForce.com purchase of DimDim a big deal for the Enterprise?


    On January 6th, 2011 SalesForce.com (SFDC) purchased the web conferencing company DimDim for $31 million dollars.  The strategy is to incorporate web conferencing within Chatter Premium Edition, SFDC’s social networking platform embedded within SFDC cloud-based CRM solution. 

    Chatter is fast becoming a major player in the social business space, and SFDC is uniquely positioned to capture huge portions of this market.  In December 2010, SFDC released a “Free” version of Chatter, that does not require a full SFDC license.  In today’s enterprises, many of the senior leadership are wary of Social Networking within the firewall, and SFDC already has a cozy relationship via their CRM platform.. This existing relationship could allow SFDC to convince C-Level executives that only SFDC has the ability to safely and securely introduce the positive power of Social Networking in a controlled manner within the company without any additional investment.  Then when the employees demand more Social Capabilities, simply upgrading the free Chatter to the premium Chatter is a very natural evolution. 

    Now comes the purchase of a web conferencing platform to integrate with Chatter. 

    Brilliant move on their part for several reasons. 

    First, it gives them a key collaborative feature not in any top enterprise social networking platform, such as JIVE, Lotus Connections, or SharePointCisco’s Quad and Novell’s Vibe have web conferencing, but they are nowhere as prevalent in Enterprises as those top three players.  This means Chatter MUST now be thought of as a top player in this space, and given serious consideration for employee-engagement Social platforms.

    Second, it will be a way to co-opt existing web conferencing contracts many companies have with WebEx, Microsoft’s LiveMeeting, GoToMyPC,  by linking a key collaboration function every company leverages…web conferencing.   I imagine SFDC offering web conferencing services embedded within Chatter premium edition which would save hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars for large enterprises.

    Thirdly, it provides another positive step for enterprises to look towards moving other collaboration services to the cloud, of which SFDC could provide in the future.  It begins to show how Collaboration, and Social Collaboration can be linked with a companies CRM for true “closeness” in customer engagement.  If a company decided to go with Google Apps Premier Edition, which already tightly integrates with SFDC, and can now provide vast collaboration functionality to knowledge workers via the cloud.  

    Fourthly, CIO’s want to simplify their portfolios, and now they can combine the Social Networking and Web Conferencing with a trusted vendor.  Rationalization of enterprise applications has been a big effort for CIO for the past 2 years, and as I mentioned above, this move helps ease the fear of new enterprise capabilities, yet does not put another vendor into the fray, which drives up costs.

    I can easily see a situation where a company can now leverage Chatter (free version) to introduce Social Networking into its customer’s environments.  Then move to the premium version of Chatter and get to leverage global web conferencing for everyone in the company, as they collaboration and leverage the social-ness of communities, profiles, and customer-engagement.

    Well Done SFDC, Well Done!

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    Arrogance is one virtue Google should leave to Microsoft..


    Over the years, Microsoft has often been criticized for being arrogant.  Extremely arrogant in declaring itself the best software, the best operating system, the best blah, blah.,blah!!  Did being arrogant work?  YES, to a degree, but reality was Microsoft was the best at aligning with PC manufactures, resellers, and branding itself in the eyes of businesses and consumers.

    Examples of Microsoft’s arrogance are plentiful.

    • In 2001, Microsoft executives launched an all-out propaganda war against open-source software, while a few years later embraced open-source when it saw the threat to its core revenue streams.
    • In 2002, during the anti-trust trials, one of the states attorneys’ lawyer Steven Kuney claimed Microsoft’s arrogance was so outrageous, that they “Somehow they know better than anybody else what is good for the PC ecosystem.”
    • In 2005, Microsoft brought in Arthur Sorkin, a scientist for an interview, and instead of discussing the organization and the value of working for Microsoft, they gave him a “pop-quiz”.   “It displayed a certain degree of arrogance and presumption,” Sorkin said.”

    So why bring this up, and how does Google play into this?  Google, like Microsoft was in the past is now heralded as the “golden child” of innovation and technology.  They are constantly working on re-inventing themselves, and becoming even more integral into people’s lives.

    People like the underdog, people root for the underdog, yet once the underdog becomes ungrateful, arrogant, and Machiavellian, you inevitably “lose” the people.

    Over the past few months, Google has carefully protected their brand, and avoided becoming arrogant in the consumer’s eyes. A few days ago, I read one of the most blatant examples of arrogance I have seen in some time:

    Google’s Andy Rubin has essentially declared that “Android is the last platform for smartphones that the world needs.”  In an interview with PC Magazine, the Google VP of Engineering was asked what he thought of Microsoft’s new platform.

    ‘I think the screen shots I’ve seen are interesting, but look, the world doesn’t need another platform. Android is free and open; I think the only reason you create another platform is for political reasons. Why doesn’t the whole world run with [Android]? They don’t like the people who developed, or “not invented here,” but [Android] is a successful, complete, vertically integrated free platform.”

    WOW!!!!…what arrogance, how foolish is that statement to make?  Google has a commanding lead in so many technologies, is making great strides to bring collaboration to the masses both consumer and enterprise, yet they are falling into the Microsoft Arrogance Trap.  Google’s dominance has already started to earn it some powerful opposition by certain governments, and secondary companies, but why help the critics?

    Google found fame and fortune for having great technology, and for being the “Anti-Microsoft”.  Why spoil that with arrogance?  I think all companies need to think carefully about how they are perceived by the public as we have seen today’s darlings are tomorrow’s oppressors.

    My advice to Google, should they listen to me is: “Be Humble, Be the Underdog”

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    Social, Web 2.0, and Security


    One of the biggest concerns for many enterprises is the security around protecting Intellectual Property (IP), data, privacy, and overall corporate data that has the potential to negatively impact a company market share, corporate image (goodwill),  and bring various legal ramifications to bear.  McAfee recently published a report on Social Media that details the challenges companies have around this very topic.

    With the advent of Web 2.0 tools and technologies, many firms have been very concerned how employees use these tools.  While the consumer sector has seen the largest explosion of Web 2.0 tools, enterprises have been reluctant to allow their users unfettered access to these tools even though the business-related benefits are there.  Many employees are unaware of the various malware, viruses, and bots, that can be easily inserted into various web 2.0 tools and platforms.

    • Why are corporate users so ignorant of the threats that Web 2.0 tools carry?
    • Why are corporate IT Security teams so unwilling to “Open the Doors” to leverage these Web 2.0 Tools which clearly carry revenue opportunities for the business?
    • How can we come to a consensus between protecting corporate IP, and allowing the business to leverage powerful new capabilities to drive revenue and cost efficiencies in this crappy economic times?

    As an IT security professional, I have taken an oath to protect company data, even when the company does not understand the threats and attack vectors that exist.  At the same time however, as an employee we have obligations to help the company drive revenue, operate efficiently,  while protecting IP.  My point here is not to dissect the IT Security profession, but to simply point out the conflict security professionals need to recognize.

    image

    There have been other recent articles detailing how Web 2.0 has cost over $1.1 Billion due to security incidents.  This is not a glaring endorsement for companies to promote Web 2.0 technologies, and unless there is a program in place to focus on reducing these incidents, and being able to bring basic security awareness into the Web 2.0 discussion will lead to more and more enterprises restricting access for employees, and more and more employees looking to circumvent or bypass those security controls to leverage the power of Web 2.0.

    The benefits of Web 2.0 to the business has been proven, especially in Marketing, and Product Engineering.  In fact a recent survey showed interesting statistics.

    In 2006 Gartner published a listing of 7 Core Benefits of Web 2.0 that businesses cannot overlook, and while 4 years old, still emphasis what companies are now leveraging from Web 2.0 today.

    Seven Core Benefits

    The seven core benefits of Web 2.0 for traditional enterprises that, according to Gartner, should not be overlooked are:

    • Core enterprise applications will become more effective through the incorporation of Web 2.0 technologies.
    • Next-generation Web platforms can be highly efficient in overall procurement and sales strategies.
    • Lessons from Web 2.0 community and social networking success stories can be leveraged within the enterprise for more efficient knowledge worker collaboration and overall employee satisfaction.
    • Semantic tagging technologies can greatly increase the navigation of internal and external information overload and increase information-based product consumption and use.
    • Web 2.0 communities can be used for new product feedback, shortening the product development time and targeting valuable marketing resources.
    • Targeting bloggers and other influential Web users can help to control an organization’s image and influence publicity for the positive
    • Making Web-based marketing the norm, rather than the exception, will help optimise overall marketing spend.

    So while the benefits are now bearing the fruit of 3-6 years of technology innovation, the same benefits from Web 2.0 are now enticements to the “Bad Guys” in terms of exploiting the openness and transparencies within Web 2.0.  This security issue will only get more public, moving into the spotlight, and more difficult to dismiss by Collaboration and Social Strategy experts as uncommon. More and more systems are becoming linked with mashups to Cloud platforms, using OpenAuth for authentication integration between disparate platforms, endless plug-in, and of course tying back to the advent of Social Business Networking platforms within the enterprise.

    Action Plan

    I think the way for Security Professionals to defend the IP, while helping the business is to use a multiple approach.  First, using Web Technologies, such as Web-Content Filtering appliances, Good Social\Web 2.0 Usage Policies and Governance, and Awareness Training.  The Awareness Training that Security Professional have used in the past is useless with Web 2.0.  Users would be sleeping in 5 minutes hearing how dangerous Web 2.0 is, and would reject those lessons immediately.  I am for Awareness Training 2.0, which is to show users how to leverage Web 2.0 tools and capabilities, BUT inject at key points the potential for threats to exploit the user’s actions as they leverage those Web 2.0 tools.  Tying those threats to Web 2.0 in terms of how user’s could have their customer’s contacts hijacked, leads stolen, public relations nightmares, and how the user’s and the company could lose potential revenue.

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    Are Social Sites burning out? I say NO WAY !


    There is an article written by Sharon Gaudin claiming that the attraction of Facebook may be declining.  She is basing this on the reduction of new sign-ups to Facebook, by a company tracking Facebook usage.  I can certainly understand how since the rapid increase in Facebook since 2009, there would be some slowdown.  After all Facebook has over 500 million users, so it was due to experience a slowdown at some point.  Does this mean that Social Networking is a fad, albeit a huge fad? Absolutely NOT !

    What is going on is what I call the “Acceptance Curve”.  When a technology reaches critical mass, there is a point when it becomes so accepted, that it is no longer looked at as unique.  Social Networking has hit that curve.  Just think about ALL the people on ALL the Social Networking sites, one day all linked together, and interactions are simply accepted as part of the normal interactions between people.  Look today at most people on their smartphones, posting updates on Facebook or meeting up on FourSquare.  They are not doing this only while working, but on public transportation and even at dinner tables in homes and restaurants.

    Social Networking has yet to fully permeate the last vestige of our lives; in the workplace, but with the advent of practitioners and evangelists, it is coming soon.  Hopefully, there will be no burnout in the Enterprise due to the hopeful alignment of business processes to the what the social networks provide.

    But getting back to the question of Social Networking Burnout; I see individuals burning out, but as 1 person burns out, 2 or 3 may be renergized to take their place.  May it happen?  YES, it might, maybe, but as long as we are still strangers to each other, the enticement to meet someone new, to broaden our immediate network of friends and family will drive the use of Social Network Sites onward and upward.  I think we have only begun to see the use of Social Networking Site, and I cannot think of a better platform to bring down the tyranny in the world, to unleash the oppressed to find hope.  The power of the Social Networking Sites are so powerful, countries do whatever they can to block access to these sites in order to keep their citizens under control.

    So if you get up every morning and update your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn BEFORE you brush your teeth or smoke your cigarette, then you are addicted, but your NOT a Burnout…….not YET !!!

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