Sunday, February 24, 2008

Social Computing to Transform Enterprises

A Gartner Research report cited by Enterprise Innovation talks about huge changes sweeping the enterprise IT environment, and raises questions about whether the current crop of CIOs are prepared to handle it.

"85% of chief information officers (CIOs) see significant change coming over the next three years as they look to meet rising business expectations for IT to make a difference in their enterprise strategy... and social computing is rapidly becoming a way that IT can play a direct role in making a difference to the customer and the market."

Says the report: "However, they [the current crop of CIOs] are guarded in their confidence in IT's ability to create results in these areas." A two-year old Forrester report describes why. "To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists."

I've recently been working with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to implement blogs, wikis and document sharing for a large multinational bank, and it has not been easy to use. My sense is that the Social Computing solutions business is about to grow very fast, mostly benefiting third-party Independent Software Vendors like Blogtronix which emphasise rapid deployment, integration and ease-of-use.