Monday, April 20, 2009

Enterprise Social Computing

Too often firms select software in hopes that it deliver a solution to a problem. Typically, this is done without serious consideration to the affected business processes; or hoping organizational change can be avoided, yet expecting improved business performance.

I remind myself of these experiences as I embark on an interesting engagement leading a team through the process of defining requirements for an enterprise social computing platform.

The early days will focus on developing a common language, governance models, and a broad understanding of the business goals and objectives for such a platform. This process of surfacing the team’s thoughts is really a framing exercise designed to guide additional days of requirements definition. The requirements will lead to the selection of a solution or solutions and an organizational structure and method for managing collaboration.

There is a clear need for social collaboration inside and outside the four walls of the business. Along with collaboration is portal functionality to support document sharing, ratings, reviews, and collaborative development of text, video, presentations, and other media for internal and external consumption. I am wondering if this becomes a single solution or multiple pieces of software. At this point, I don’t see a single, monolithic solution out there. But I may be proven wrong.

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