To gain enterprise acceptance, social technology needs to have business drivers, much like any other enterprise software proposition. However, unlike many applications that support work processes and flows that are apparent to everyone, social software isn’t viewed quite the same way. Why? Because the “work process” of connecting people isn’t normally thought of as a business process.
Many industries, including insurance and financial, are going to have to do some “ retooling” as it relates to the education of senior leadership, business stakeholders, agents, and employees. In doing so, it is important to highlight a number of tangible contributors to better enhance the acceptability of social tools. Consider the following:
- Breakdown the silos: Third-generation social tools reach their full potential when they integrate social information with nonsocial business data. Social identity becomes an additional means of navigation, relevant to both search software and end users. Be sure to convey this capability to all of your business units. Get creative.
- Get the activity stream flowing: Social technologies should be aligned to a workflow context, bringing collaborative potential to where employees are working. The more strategic and specific the workflow process, the more likely the endorsements will be universal across all channels. Make a plan and stick to it.
- Get in on the conversation: Social technologies can trace an online conversation in ways that e-mail often doesn’t, replicating what formerly took place in physical meeting. Displacing a number of physical meetings with a more reproducible and traceable replacement, solidifies the value of social technology and helps to get everyone onboard with a new approach to social technology. Show them the value.
Every business has social circumstances that are unique. Successful adoption requires thoughtful strategies in getting everyone onboard and recognizing its value and purpose in your enterprise. The good news is that much of social technology is independent of other technologies, making it easier to scale down the processes into manageable efforts. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and get creative.