Soon, the new information companies that are gaining through social media will be brought into product development to give instant feedback from customers on what they want to buy, he says. That will lead to new products that arrive faster than ever. "In the product development world historically, companies have prototyped and thrown spaghetti against the wall to see if it stuck. In this age, though, in order to be successful you can't still throw spaghetti against the wall because it's too expensive to do." With social media development, you'll know more about customer desires before you spend product production money.
So will this all be worth the time and expense for your enterprise?
What a question, Pombriant says. "At the end of the day it's sort of like the old days when companies would ask, 'what's the ROI for putting a telephone on everybody's desk, or putting a computer on everybody's desk? Those questions were asked in a previous decade and we know how those things went. The people who said that they wanted to wait missed the boat."
Todd R. Weiss covers Enterprise Applications, SaaS, CRM, and Cloud Computing for CIO.com. Follow Todd on Twitter @TechManTalking. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Todd at email@example.com You can also join Todd in the "CIO Forum" group on LinkedIn.com to talk with CIOs and IT managers about the things that keep them up at night.
Read more about business intelligence (bi) in CIO's Business Intelligence (BI) Drilldown.