Enterprise Social Networking is not exactly a new concept. However, its adoption in India has been subject to many debates, ranging from security to implementation, but are the concerns well-founded? A tool that is being broadly adopted across the globe surely must have some credit. Let’s clear the air.
Demystifying enterprise social networking
Enterprise Social Networking—like any other social medium today—helps bring people and information together, backed with enterprise identity and security and is used to connect people with common interests or working towards common goals.
Why should organizations start investing in an enterprise social networking platform?
The Need to Engage Millennials: Today’s Gen Y, born in the internet age has grown up with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They are accustomed to interaction through social mediums and can multitask easily. These platforms make it easy for them to build connections.
The Necessity to Collaborate Globally: Markets today boast competition that is unprecedented in human history. Constant exchange of information and collaboration is imperative. It is essential that Organizations move away from traditional methods of communication and adopt more viable tools that are designed to listen and respond faster.
Brand Associations: The present workforce is a very young demographic which thrives on social media. It is essential for a brand to appear relevant to this generation and create an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. Enterprise Social Networking does just that by creating an ‘open and transparent’ work environment.
Can any enterprise embark on this journey?
Most enterprises today want to implement Enterprise Social Networks. However, there is a dilemma on how to manage an open style of working. People are slowly recognizing the need for transparent exchange of information that comes with Enterprise Social Networking. Any organisation can adopt enterprise social networking by addressing these three basic criteria:
Organizational success with social media is fundamentally a leadership and management challenge. About 80 per cent is cultural change and the role played by technology is a mere 20 per cent.
Employee acceptance is key to the success of Enterprise Social Networks. Participation by all sections of the organization is essential.
Inculcating an environment that fosters collaboration is vital. There should be a healthy mix of business driven needs and common Interests and passions, the latter occupying at least 20-25 per cent of the communities E.g. photography, trekking groups, etc.
The key takeaway here is not to judge the capabilities of the platform, but instead understand the organization and its ability to change.
How does one start?
A successful Enterprise Social Network is led by 80 per cent culture change and 20 per cent by platform capabilities. Contrary to popular beliefs, Enterprise Social Networking is not an IT initiative – it needs a much broader level of acceptance. All, or at least most, levels of organization must be eager to participate in this change. To extract value from the investment, it is necessary to integrate businesses and transform the way people work.
Have a clear vision of why you want to introduce this platform in the Enterprise.
Define the business outcomes you want to achieve.
Identify community managers who are passionate about driving this change and can bring people together.
Put a plan in place to measure, iterate, and adapt periodically.
What are the main challenges in india?
Internet Connectivity: One of the primary issues in implementation, as far as India is concerned, is the lack of good internet connectivity – it is a still, very much, a luxury.
Risk and Compliance: Largely an IT concern, with information being easily accessible, industries associated with IP such as ITES, Banking, Pharma, and Manufacturing are apprehensive about security risks. This however can be tackled with user education about the medium, risk mitigation plans, a well-defined social media policy and community champions in the company.
To conclude, enterprise social networking is a solution that most existing and future workforce need to perform better – It’s about redefining the way people work. Adoption is led by culture change and a passion to integrate different sections of an organization. To grow globally, one has to think and act globally and Enterprise Social Networks help you achieve just that.