Social technologies are extending organizations

McKinsey has been following the social business movement for some time now. And they're following to see if it can live up to the expectations. Recently they published the results of their 5th annual survey under 4200 global executives. The polled them how their organizations use social tools.

The finding of the report are interesting. There's clear progress: social tools are being used more and more and in more effective ways. When adopted across the networked enterprise and integrated in work processes of employees, clear benefits are seen. There's a boost in financial performance and market share, which relates to the results of previous surveys. However not many companies are fully networked, meaning they are internally and externally networked.

One of the most interesting things I read in the report was the fact that executives believe if organizational barriers to social tools diminish, they could transform the core business processes. This is a big statement as most business processes are formal and supported by heavy and expensive IT-systems. Exhibit 8 give you an idea of the processes that will/can be changed. This does not imply social tools are good for all business processes. Exhibit 7 should which business processes have the best fit with social tools. As you see, social tools are mostly used to scan the external environment.

The survey mentioned that 72% of the organizations have at least one social technology inhouse. And 40% have a social networking and blogging platform.

Of course we all want to know what the affordances of social business are. According to this report they are:

  1. increasing speed to access knowledge
  2. reducing communication costs
  3. increasing speed to access internal experts

Another interesting finding is the fact that it is easier to loose benefits of social tools than to gain them. Implementing social tools is hard work and requires continuous effort.

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