What Does Social Business Mean to IT Professionals

December 4, 2012

For many people, the word “social” conjures up hours lost updating Facebook statuses, digging through Twitter feeds, pinning photos to your Pinterest boards or finding the perfect filter for your latest Instagram masterpiece. Social endeavors are the time wasters, the new lunch breaks — the window that you minimize when your boss comes by your desk.

However, the value of social business is undeniable. Based on a McKinsey & company report, nearly 70% of companies use social technologies. By investing in these collaboration platforms, companies across the globe are poised to unlock between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion in annual value. The benefits of both external and internal social collaboration platforms are immediately apparent to the traditional knowledge worker, but what about IT professionals?

Centralized Support

The use of a centralized, social employee intranet gives IT departments a powerful tool to mitigate the amount of one-on-one support they have to give to their employee base. By having a hub where employees are accustomed to accessing information, IT departments can easily provide solutions to common troubleshooting issues, computer and device maintenance tips, and, should a problem escalate, contact information and forms to submit more serious issues. These social business platforms can also often integrate directly into your existing support system’s API, reducing friction for employees seeking help.

Tailor Your Deployment

The benefits of working in the cloud with an enterprise-grade social collaboration tool is that deployments can often by tailored to your company’s specific needs. Some examples of this include hosting your communities in a private cloud rather than a public one or integrating with existing SSL or VPN technologies for added protection. Additionally, enterprise-grade cloud deployments include the convenience of global availability and uptimes that often exceed SLAs.

Crowdsourced Problem Solving

There are numerous benefits to engaging a social business platform like Jive Software to build product communities, such as the iMeet Community or GlobalMeet Community. These sites give customers a platform to voice their opinions and engage directly with a product or brand. However, more importantly, it gives you a powerful tool for identifying and prioritizing product issues. Product bugs can be incredibly difficult to track down and reproduce, a time-consuming process that can exhaust your support resources. With a product community in place, you can quickly get a sense of how widespread a reported issue is and understand better the steps and system configurations to use to reproduce the problem, ultimately informing you whether it’s a problem on the user end or with your own network infrastructure.

Become an IT Hero

It’s no secret that the behaviors of today’s employees have influenced IT decision makers for years now. The “consumerization of IT” has empowered employees to choose their devices of choice, bring their favorite apps into the workplace and improve their business processes with software and hardware that are familiar, comfortable and powerful. The rise of the social business is an extension of those phenomena — employees are accustomed to collaborating in the cloud because they do it every day in their personal lives. They share photos and comment on stories. They collaborate on documents and send notifications to participants. They’re comfortable working with the power of the social cloud and they want to bring that power to work, just like their smartphones and tablets. By embracing social businesses, IT departments can once again become the heroes.

To learn more about the biggest trends impacting IT professionals today, including mobility, globalization, social media, crowdsourcing and BYOD, get the free eBook now: The Future of Business Collaboration.

Tags: IT     Technology Trends    
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