Technology Forecast: 2011, Issue 3 download

Transforming collaboration with social tools

This issue of Technology Forecast explores how to confront communications overload and boost collaboration potential by making best use of the new powerful social tools. Business is inherently social, which is why collaboration and communications that scale are so fundamental.

The collaboration paradox: More social information helps the workforce find what they’re looking for.
First we had communication silos inside organizations. Now with e-mail and the Web, we're all dealing with communications chaos. Paradoxically, the metadata—the context around the communications which new social technologies are now surfacing—offers the secret to eliminating communications chaos, moving enterprises closer to fully shared knowledge. Analytics that take advantage of this metadata are the first step.

Enterprise success with emerging social technology: Innovators are learning to build graphs to help users find the information they need—and each other.
One thing enterprise have learned is that siloed, standalone consumer Web-style microblogging or social networking tools rarely work well inside an enterprise. Social technology that's embedded in the enterprise application environment to offer collaborative support to specific business processes, or explicitly targeted at unifying all communications and collaboration, can be much more useful.

The CIO's role in social enterprise strategy: Transforming collaboration demands an evolutionary approach.
Before trying to add to the mix, take stock of how your workforce is collaborating to begin with. What's the appropriate rationale for adopting a new tool in this case? By formulating an adoption process with goal setting and incentives appropriate to the business, CIOs can help business units position themselves for the collaboration and filtering potential of emerging social networking platforms.