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Mar 2014


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Social Networks and the Enterprise - Webinar By EITAGlobal

Online Event


Overview: Social media concern the communication of information, in an increasing variety of media (not just text), using Web technologies, along the edges of a "social graph" of people who decided to connect with each other to reflect a common affinity or a real-life relationship (e.g., colleagues). Key characteristics of social media interactions are that they are bidirectional, they combine multiple forms of information (text, audio, still pictures, video), they are personalized, and the networking act itself is part of the goal of the interaction. 

The first phase of social media expansion (2000-2006) was purely focused on personal activities and largely addressed teenagers and college students, with MySpace and Facebook leading the revolution. With the emergence of LinkedIn, the opening of Facebook to non-students (2006), the subsequent collapse of MySpace, and the emergence of other networks such as Twitter and Google Plus, there was a definite broadening of the audience to include "knowledge workers," but the actual impact of these activities on the enterprise remained unclear for a while, including whether organizations should ignore, fear, or embrace this movement. There are quite a number of use cases for the enterprise use of social media, and a growing body of emerging case studies and success stories:

  • Maintaining and exploited a self-updated list of business contacts
  • "Social recruiting" (including referrals and references)
  • Maintaining connections with ex-employees
  • "Socializing knowledge" among people whose social network connections represent a trust relationship. This also includes "social search" capabilities
  • Communities of users and customers of a product or service
  • Crowdsourcing technology watch and competitive intelligence
  • Sentiment analysis and customer service escalation
  • Projecting a better image of the organization to the "digital natives" it is now hiring
  • Improving the "corporate citizenship" and involvement of the enterprise by facilitating employee participation in community efforts

There are certainly issues to consider. Some concerns are exaggerated, because executives and managers who have not grown up in this world do not "get it" and still consider the Web somewhat mysterious and inherently more dangerous, even though the risks involved in association and communication are not specific to the new media. Other risks are real, and each enterprise needs to assess for itself whether they can be mitigated enough to allow a given social media project to proceed. These risks, real or overstated, include:

  • Confidential information leakage
  • Productivity impact
  • Employee poaching
  • Security risks and potential privacy violations
  • Legal compliance issues and ethical lapses
  • Difficulties in integrating social systems with enterprise systems, and the resulting impact on IT’s workload.

To balance the benefits and risks, an enterprise should develop a "reasoned adoption" roadmap based on the identification of its business goals, and the selection of appropriate strategies and media to achieve them. We will recommend:

  • A "social media strategic framework" to organize the actions
  • Limiting the time spend on ROI and TCO assessments, which are even more elusive in this area than in others
  • Leveraging the knowledge and creativity of the "digital natives" to educate the "digital immigrants" in senior management, HR, and the Legal department
  • Writing simple governance documents that spell out clear rules for who can belong in a social group
  • Review and rewriting policies about electronic communications, making them cover all forms of communication, not just social media
  • Using external or cloud-based social media platforms, instead of creating internal systems.

Why should you attend: Social media still evoke fears, mostly of confidentiality breaches and productivity losses. As a result, IT is often placed in the role of controlling (or denying) access to external networks, while sometimes putting in place lower-quality internal forums that do not have the critical mass to succeed. How do you avoid this bad situation?While some organizations are still in denial about the spread and increasing relevant of the social media phenomenon, many are starting to select pilot projects and proceed, which puts them in a better position to exploit the desire of their employees to be part of communities.

Yet this is often done without a complete understanding or a systematic approach. The risk for organizations that do not examine and understand how and why social networks are so popular, and how to leverage their benefits, is that fear will win the debate, and the organization will not only miss out on the benefits of this change in collaboration methods, but it will in the process discourage its employees or deny them the ability to perform at the right level.This webinar examines the use cases for social media in a business context, the pros and cons (including the myths and realities), and proposes reasonable steps for a corporate social media adoption roadmap.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Introduction
  • Defining social media
  • The challenge
  • Business use cases
  • Fears of new technologies
  • Areas of risk
  • Integration challenges for IT
  • Typical mistakes
  • Choosing careful adoption over irrational fears
  • Adoption roadmap
  • Future directions

Who Will Benefit:

  • CIO
  • Chief Knowledge Officer
  • Human Resources VP/Director
  • Legal Counsel




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