Complete a Survey on Enterprise Social Networking

I’m working on a new Altimeter report on how organizations are using enterprise social networking (ESN) solutions. The report is tentatively titled “Making The Case for Enterprise Social Networking” and looks at how technology platforms like Chatter, Jive, and Yammer are being used within organizations.

Request: Please contribute to Altimeter’s Open Research by taking this survey. You can sign up at the end to have the report emailed to you when the report goes live. Spread the word on this survey too — we want to have broad participation and also share our research findings with the broader market.

At the core of the research is understanding the goals that companies hope to achieve with the most basic fundamentals of a social network — the ability to have a profile, post an update, and receive notifications. While initially the goals of early deployments were simple – “Let’s connect everyone!” – the space as evolved.

Now we are finding that executive support — and mandates — are some of the strongest drivers of organizational adoption of these platforms, regardless of industry. But a key problem remains measuring and valuing the impact – few organizations use anything beyond basic engagement metrics to measure the value of these platforms.

Why is this important? When I was writing “Open Leadership”, I was struck by the potential of these technologies to transform organizations company. From the CEO and CIO to department heads, leaders are eager to increase productivity, effectiveness, and resilience. So this is not a report that evaluates technology platform features, but rather, asks a more basic and fundamental question — what results should you expect when you deploy an enterprise social networking solution?

This is where we need your help. We would like to survey and benchmark the impact of enterprise social networks. How is your organization using enterprise social networks to meet business goals? How engaged are your executives? What kind of impact is it having – and how are you measuring it? While we welcome any user of enterprise social networking to complete the survey, we are especially eager to hear from people who were instrumental in choosing and deploying these solutions.

To whet your appetite, here are some early findings so far from our research:

  • Creating a “watercooler” is still the most common reason for deploying — but these suffer because of lack of adoption and more importantly, purpose.
  • Companies are beginning to deploy enterprise social networks with specific business goals in mind, ranging from optimizing a business process like sales to supporting a change in strategic direction.
  • Metrics, however, are lacking. Most deployment focus on engagement metrics around adoption and usage, rather than tying efforts to business goals.
  • Some larger organizations are linking adoption and use of enterprise social networks to employee retention — engaged employees tend to be happy employees.

Also, we are also looking for companies willing to be interviewed as case studies and for best practices. We won’t cite you or your company by name without permission. So don’t be shy! This space is still nascent so we welcome the opportunity hear first-hand about your experience.  If you are interested in being interviewed, please my colleague Jon Cifuentes at jon@altimetergroup.com. Thank you in advance!

Links

Take the survey — it’s 19 questions in total and will take about 10-15 minutes.

Want to be notified when the report comes out? Fill out this form and we’ll let you know. (We promise not to email you about anything else!)

Interested in being interviewed for the report? Email Jon Cifuentes.

Book review: The End Of Business As Usual by Brian Solis

My colleague Brian Solis has just published his latest book, “The End Of Business As Usual: Rewire The Way You Work To Succeed“. I was so excited to finally hold the book in my hands, especially after months of having talked and worked with Brian about the ideas in the book.

This is not a book about how to use social media. Read Brian’s last book, “Engage” as it’s an excellent primer with detailed how-tos. Rather, “End of Business” seeks to explain to executives and leaders who aren’t engaged in social media how connected customers are transforming business as we know it.

Written from the point of view of the connected consumer, the first half of the book looks at phenomenons ranging from the evolution of social networks into personal operating systems to the rise of social commerce. If you read Brian’s blog, you’ll recognize Brian’s fingerprints all over these chapters — rich examples, clear explanations, and always a sense that Brian is at your side as a trusted guide.

But I found the most valuable insights in the second half of the book where Brian becomes prescriptive about how businesses need to approach business differently. In particular, Brian makes the case that you must evolve your business to become “adaptive” to the connected consumer. He’s evolved his call to action from “Engage or Die!” to “Adapt of Die!”. I quote from the book on what is different today:

“The pivot of any business is not whether it can reach consumers, it’s the reality of whether consumers, especially connected customers, wish to connect with them now and over time.”

Brian lays out how a business needs to rewire for this new reality, one that turns away from being internally driven by a strategic plan to one that is guided by an entire organization centered on creating a magical customer experience — and importantly, customer relationship — with these connected consumers. Thus the hallmark of an adaptive business is that it will shift and evolve as an organization, from top to bottom, to be responsive to customers. The last three chapters resonated the most with me, as they layout the framework for an adaptive business, how to evolve your business to shift from rigid to adaptive, and the future evolution into predictive businesses.

You can read more about the book at endofbusiness.com. Other resources:

YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DZ9XAzwhlA

Brian’s post: http://www.briansolis.com/2011/10/announcing-the-end-of-business-as-usual-the-new-book-is-available-now/

Jeremiah Owyang’s post: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2011/10/18/adapting-to-radical-changes-in-business