Just today, the Altimeter Group released a study titled “Social Business Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare Internally” that gives deep insight as to how advanced companies are preparing themselves internally to transform into a social business. While some organizations are being forced and literally “thrown into the fire”, the smart ones are being proactive and building out requirements that will help social business transformation.
- Baseline Governance: Established and reinforced a corporate social media policies and guidelines that empower employees to participate externally on the social web and also protect the organization
- Enterprise-Wide Response Processes: Defined processes for rapid workflow and engagement with customers in social media i.e. crisis communication, customer feedback workflows, etc.
- Ongoing Education Program and Best Practice Sharing: Fostered a culture of learning through ongoing social media education
- Leadership from a Dedicated and Shared Central Hub: Organized in a scalable formation, with a cross-functional “Center of Excellence”
Here is the full report for you to download, embed and share:
What’s important to note about the companies represented in this report is that many of them have been adapting their business models for several years now. Cisco, IBM, Dell, and Intel have been driving social business initiatives for quite some time; although often done within in different pockets of the organization. Today, companies are now formalizing their social business planning process. IBM, for example, has been advocating that their employees engage in social media for well over 8 years and have close to 25,000 employees on Twitter, 300,000 employees on LinkedIn and 198,000 employees on Facebook. This accomplishment certainly didn’t happen overnight and I am sure that internally, IBM has governance models, process workflows as well as a Center of Excellence teams and programs that drive collaboration and integration.
For background, a social business is built upon three pillars – people, process and technology (or platforms). All three of these initiatives need to work independent of each other, yet need to be completely integrated and supported by employees that are responsible for each of the job functions. A social business requires employees to actually communicate — processes and governance models that help shape employee behavior online — and technology to facilitate collaboration across the organization.
While it is certainly easy to read an excellent report like this one and get some ideas of how the big boys are changing their business, it’s more important for organizations to be proactive and start thinking about creating and deploying an actionable social business plan now, before they get thrown into the fire.
Here are some qualitative indicators to determine if an organization is becoming a social business.