Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Comments on "The Social Enterprise - What Works, and What Doesn't"

Finally had time to read another great post (and all the comments!) by Alex Iskold on ReadWriteWeb. It’s about “The Social Enterprise - What works, and What Doesn’t”.

This post gives a good overview of why and how companies should use social media (internally and externally). I agree with most of the post.

I do have a couple of comments and questions:

1. Alex ask “Do corporations need social networks?”

I would say ‘yes’ because companies are inherently social, or at least, they were when they started. Companies are built up by individuals that got together because they have/had a shared concern. If these individuals are not social, there would be no enterprise.

Or do you mean ‘social network applications’?

2. I missed one (to me) important dimension in Alex’s “Agile Communication in The Enterprise”. It focuses on one company with two department. But isn’t the real issue for companies a little bit more complex? And isn’t this a very important reason to devise new work methods and tools to support this change? I extended Alex's figure to explain what I mean. Most companies now are busy working with partners, outsourcing and insourcing stuff. This has major implications for organizational structures, work methods and system architecture and information security. Companies are now more and more multi-site, collaboration with a part of the company somewhere in the Far East and with contract manufacturers and engineers.

3. I missed a very basic, but essential tool for the social enterprise: document management. It fits in the category “Web Office”, but I’m also talking about versioning, checkin/out, etc. Derek (comment nr. 4) also mentions this in his comment and points to Sharepoint, etc.

Alex also asked “what social tools we are discussing or using today?” Basically were investigating all the tools you mentioned. None are being used internall at the moment, except for wiki’s. We are using wiki’s a lot for about 2 years now. They’re mostly used for document collaboration and, specifically, to keep work method manuals up to date. But project management is also being done using wiki’s.

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