Today I am going to talk about Enterprise Social Networks (ESN). Why is it becoming a hot topic and what are the benefits.
Undoubtfully, social networks and social media are becoming more and more part of our lives. We stay in touch with friends, family and business relations through the popular public networks. They live on our primal instinct of being part of a group.
ESN's bring that capability into our business lives, with our co workers, customers and partners. We already know our collegeas. At least we think, but how many of them are there where we have no clue of what they are doing, or even exist ?
Software can help getting to know who you are working with, what they are doing and how they could help you do your job or vice versa. We don't talk about the weather, or football or at least a lot less than on the public social networks. But we do exchange valueable information about customers, opportunities, knowledge and insights in our business.
It is a logical step, knowing that we want to use all available information to our benefit in our daily working live. Why not share it to the max ?
There are a lot of managers still afraid of this phenomena. They think that everybody stops working and goes chatting and wasting time on the network. Studies reveal that this is not the case. People feel responsibility for their job and those who do not, are already trying to hide their non productive activity and are in most cases known to management.
Others fear confidential information leakage to the outside world. It can happen, but that is done on purpose and people who want to do that, will do that anyway. Policies and technical enforcement of those rules can trim this down to zero.
Most literature emphasises that we should manage on business output, measurable results and not on input (labour itself). In popular terms : Who cares if the sales manager is the whole day at his swimming pool, as long as he's the best sales person it does not really matter.
Enterprise social networks make it possible for people to get to know each other beyond physical boundaries, company departments or other structures that the company uses. Support personnel has direct contact with development, sales people with administration, and we can go on like that.
It creates understanding, knowledge transfer, cohesion and cooperation which is hard to acheive in any other way.
Are there any pitfalls to get this implemented ? Sure, engagement is the toughest part to acheive. There are a lot of reasons for that, the first is that a critical mass needs to be online before networks start to arise and grow. Secondly, management needs to fully support this and encourage people to use the company network to acheive better cooperation.
Another pitfall is succes itself. If no thought was done before implementing a social network in the company it probably gets chaotic. Allthough social networks have great strength in self organising, this might not be true for ESN's. The simple reason for that is that not all information is available to everyone. This creates black holes in information and nobody knows whether it is there or usefull anymore. Not even strong search engines, since it is not readable for them either !
These pitfalls can be avoided in some ways, but I'd like to explain that in a more personal conversation. So if you want to know more ? Get in touch through my company profile http://ww.centillien.com/company/netcare
That is all for today !
NetCare is een ervaren ICT organisatie, die praktische en uitvoerbare oplossingen levert op de gebieden detachering, software ontwikkeling en ons sociaal intranet applicatie MyVox om zo toegevoegde...