As we certainly hope you’re aware, we love social media. We think it has tremendous value in its ability to connect with anyone involved in the IT industry and how it has cultivated the community’s growth. Social media helps us communicate with people we might not otherwise be able to, and that is very important for all businesses. However, it is still seen as largely a promotional tool; something to do extra marketing with. But there is another rapidly growing trend in the business world, and that is social business.
Don’t mistake social business as simply “businesses using social media.” Social Business isn’t just social media, using only traditional platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This describes the rise in collaborative software and communication tools being used to allow employees to work together on projects and be more active members in their company and their industry. And in the eyes of many experts, it is the new face of IT.
This was the subject of Fast Company’s September article, “Move Over Social Media; Here Comes Social Business”. In a discussion with IBM’s Senior Manager of Digital and Social Strategy Ethan McCarty, Drew Nessier identifies some major trends in social business. “Social media is about media and people, which is one dimension of the overall world of business. With social business you start to look at the way people are interacting in digital experiences and apply the insights derived to a wide variety of different business processes,” said McCarty.
David Lavenda explores the trend a bit further in his Fast Company article. He notes that much of the thrust behind the trends comes from the expansion of collaborative tools from major companies across the industry, such as Atlassian, Cisco, IBM, Jive, Microsoft, NewsGator, OpenText, Socialtext, and Telligent. Both articles note that it will require a large effort to convert a whole business to the latest tools (as always).
And as if the trend needed more legitimacy, W3C is holding a “Social Business Jam” starting today and running through the 11th. The event will feature discussions on a wide variety of social business topics, including identity management, business processes becoming social, integration, and metrics. It promises some excellent information and discussion, and another big push to bringing this new idea of Social Business further to the forefront of the IT industry.