IBM: Companies facing social media conundrum

By , Network World |  Unified Communications, IBM, social media

IBM issued a report today that found while most companies are accelerating their social media plans, many are struggling to figure out what it all means.

The enigma defined: IBM's survey of 1,160 IT professionals shows that while 46% of the organizations increased their social technologies investments in 2012, only 22% believed that managers are prepared to incorporate social tools into their daily practices. In addition, two-thirds of respondents were not sure they sufficiently understood the impact that social technologies would have on their organizations over the next three years.

MORE: Gartner: 10 critical IT trends for the next five years

BACKGROUND: Gartner: How big trends in security, mobile, big data and cloud computing will change IT

The IBM report, "The Business of Social Business: What Works and How It's Done," says the key to accelerating widespread social media adoption "lies in an organization's ability to build social business expertise among employees, while encouraging behavioral changes that may influence a wider cultural shift. However, only one-quarter of companies believe they are fully prepared to address the cultural changes that are associated with this transformation."

Big Blue suggests a number of strategies for organizations to better evolve into social enterprises, including:

" Management must provide an infrastructure for engagement -- setting up forums, team rooms and collaborative spaces.

" Social practices should be integrated into day-to-day work activities. For example, the use of blog posts and activity streams can positively accentuate project management tasks.

" Create the capability to understand where and how data generation could benefit the enterprise.

" Management must teach employees how to collaborate effectively with individuals outside of the organization's boundaries, using social business methods and tools.

" A social business embeds social technologies into core business processes, and then applies the technologies to drive customer-facing activities such as lead generation, sales and post-sales service.

" Get people involved in using the tools.

" Create hands-on opportunities to use new social business tools.

" Provide one-on-one coaching and reverse mentoring and encourage leaders to model desired behaviors to signal social "permission."

" Capture success stories through use of social tools (wikis, blogs, video).

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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