How social insights shape business processes: Rawn Shah
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Automating business processes has brought huge efficiencies to business over the last 100 years. A key challenge here involves figuring out how humans link to ‘the machine’. But this is changing, as businesses are realizing benefits from redefining the problem: how do you make business processes more social?
As Rawn Shah, IBM Social Business Strategist and Forbes blogger points out, adding a social layer on top of the systems that control business processes can help deal with those micro-changes in the environment: affects like the weather and the proclivities of a given customer. This level of complexity is difficult to engineer into processes, but can be inserted into processes through a social layer. A blog post on an internal social network by someone close to the situation (say a sales rep) can allow the business to accommodate and adapt to this level of detail.
This is just one example of the value internal collaboration brings to the business. Rawn himself is currently involved in looking at the value social business adoption brings to the sales process. For instance, how do you find the right experts that can bring a solution together? If the individuals in a sales team are regularly posting about their wins and the solutions they are putting together, it is easy to spot who are the experts on a given technology or in a given industry and pull together the optimum team to deal with a new pitch.
This does involve making sure that the sales team are sharing rich information in an online context. As Rawn notes, this isn’t straightforward as this isn’t necessarily the natural behavior pattern for a sales rep. Whilst most sales people tend to be social by nature, this doesn’t often extend to what they do online. As a group, they aren’t typically the first to migrate to a social network. The trick is in making them aware of the value back to themselves in the form of visibly growing their reputation.
When it comes to the adoption of a social strategy, Rawn outlines viewpoints. From the technology angle, the focus is often on making connections between people in the software (eg. adding a social layer to the software) whereas the business may focus on improving the process of innovation and ideation: making this company-wide rather than just restricted to product development or R&D.
Listen to the full interview: