Fabian Divito on the impact of becoming a social business
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The real value in social is in connecting it to business processes. So said Fabian Divito, an IBM Collaboration and Portal Specialist, speaking at the Social Business Symposium held at San Jose State University late last year.
In the past many social networks were implemented within the firewall as stand-alone instances, effectively forums available for discussion, but not tied to any function, role or process. This obviously led to problems of adoption. Sure, some folks would naturally take to the tools and become high activity contributors, but overall it becomes incredibly difficult to show the business value for the setup and maintenance of the network when its not embedded into people’s work environment.
However, Fabian points out that we're beginning to see social networking playing a more central role in the enterprise and so more examples of business impact are coming through.
One example Fabian shares is that of cement manufacturer Cemex. Regulations and requirements for cement actually differ around the world, so it makes sense for Cemex to localize production processes in each geography. These are effectively run as silos. Cemex has been able to show that through social networking, innovations from one geographic team can be more rapidly adopted around the world.
How does this happen? Fabian draws on Reid Hoffman's notion of the 'small good'. A single employee can share a tip on a business improvement they’ve seen, then the network can effectively pick this up and amplify it so it can be replicated through other parts of the business.
Watch the whole presentation: