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Social Business Collaboration: Five Best Practices

Posted by EddiePrentice on July 18, 2014

I have just read a research report published earlier this year by Aberdeen Group entitled “Social Business Collaboration: Five Best Practices, Three Market Trends”. For many of you there may not be any new insights in this report but the conclusions are worth repeating as they support some key tenets of how to become a social business.

The Aberdeen research identifies five best practices that consistently describe the top performers in social business collaboration:

  • Get the right skills on the right project, the first time
  • Connect using social tools to accelerate learning and act rapidly
  • Focus on optimizing business outcomes for customers
  • Cut across departmental silos to drive lasting, cultural change
  • Go beyond using social technologies for basic communications, applying them purposefully to transform core business processes

The underlying message here is that this is not about a successful technology deployment. In many ways the technology is the easy bit. The hard bit is bringing your people with you. Look at the key phrases in Aberdeen’s best practices: “right skills”, “act rapidly”, “optimizing business outcomes”, “lasting, cultural change”, “transform core business processes”. This is what it means to become a social business. It’s about transforming the way you work to achieve defined business outcomes. You don’t become a social business by purchasing some software.

The report goes on to highlight three market trends which are worthy of note in the social business collaboration context:

  • BOYD … as long as it complies with corporate policy regarding privacy and security. It isn’t reasonable to expect users to “do the right thing”. There must be clear compliance guidelines as security is a VERY important part of solution implementation.
  • Mobility. A truly collaborative environment is not one where users are chained to their desktops. Their mantra is our mantra … “any time, any place, any device”.
  • Cloud. The study also found that over half of the top-performing organizations were already hosting their communications and collaboration solutions in the cloud. It points to strong growth in cloud-based collaboration over the next 12 to 24 months.

Aberdeen's research also suggests that the leading drivers for investing in social business solutions are support for meetings, developing a more engaged workforce, improved productivity, faster innovation and improved decision-making.

You can download the full report for free on the Aberdeen Group website.