Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Emergence of Enterprise Social Computing

It’s exciting to think that true social computing at the enterprise level is right around the corner. That in the near future, the pretense of living intranet sites will be replaced by open, transparent, and constantly evolving intranet sites that grow organically through the contributions of the organizations workforce.

Picture, if you will, an environment where organizational leaders blog to their workforce on a regular basis and readers comment freely. Where those same organizational leaders query their workforce and their answers shape the company’s roadmap.

Add to that the ability of each member of the workforce having the ability to customize their own corporate page; blog on their respective expertise; create communities of like-minded people with whom they work regardless of proximity; search the organization for specific skills, work product, like-projects, structured and unstructured data; where they search for people with specific past experiences related to companies, industries, and expertise. All this with the ability for spontaneous contact through IM, email, VoIP, and web conferencing.

Lastly, this environment is shaped via email postings, blog articles, project and organizational processes, discussion boards, forums, wikis, profiles, and virtually any other type of medium where information is shared.

Today I attended a seminar at Microsoft in Waltham, MA where my colleague, Mauro Cardarelli, as well as other professionals in the SharePoint world, demonstrated real-life implementations of the environment described above. It was clear evidence that this type of environment is ready for prime-time and available to any organization with the vision and discipline to implement it.

The organization that is looking for a fully quantifiable ROI will be late adopters. But I’m certain they will be adopters. There are many aspects of this that are quantifiable but there are many more benefits that are not. One has to know that a fully collaborative organization is a fundamentally more productive one.

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