[ad] Social Business! We don’t come to work to be social!


The following article is a sponsored post by Adam Brown, Executive Director of ISW, an IBM Premier Business Partner. Want to become a social business? Learn how to get started at an ISW Ignition event in September.

sponsored post Social Business is a strange phrase really. Social kind of means fun, and Business … well that is serious. The term Social Business is a bit of a oxymoron really.

I recall when Instant Messaging first gained traction and many were concerned that employees would just waste time “chatting”, for that matter I also remember when giving email to everyone was a big deal because there was concern that people would waste time emailing their hairdresser or mum. Of course today most organisations just take those capabilities for granted, there is a clear and obvious business value and they are a key component on how most of us work. So what is the Business Value of social software? Why would you want it in your organisation? Let me start by asking a couple of questions …

  • How many of you use Facebook or LinkedIn?
  • How many have watched and shared a video on YouTube?
  • How many have used Wikipedia?
  • How many have considered recommendations on eBay or Amazon?
  • How many have shared a file via an online file sharing service?

Ok … I know, silly questions. We all do! We are all already using social software, just in the public domain. There are hundreds, if not thousands of social services available on the internet, and these services can provide some real value to us. They help us co-ordinate events, find experts (great when you need help to fix something or answer a question), crowd sourcing (my wife is very adept at leveraging her friends on Facebook to find babysitters!), share our knowledge, stumble across interesting topics, and many more benefits. That is why we all use them! They add real value.

So the question is how can we leverage this way of collaborating and working in a business context? It would be great if we could just take these public domain services and leverage them in our work, however there are some serious reasons why we can’t leverage them for business. There are issues around ownership of intellectual property, governance and control, security and privacy, what the data is being used for (remember if you don’t pay for it then you are probably the product!), integration of disparate services and integration with existing systems and processes, etc etc.

Here enters Enterprise Social Software. Enterprise Social Software takes the concepts of social collaboration and delivers them in a manner that is ready for Business. IDC recently named IBM as Worldwide Marketshare Leader in Social Software for its IBM Connections social business platform for the 3rd year running. IBM Connections is home to a number of networking and knowledge sharing features designed to foster relationships, encourage innovation and discover expertise.

A range of social services such as Profiles, Wiki’s, Files, Communities, Activities, Blogs, Forums, Ideation, and more. Enterprise Social Software solutions are on the rise and Australian organisations, large and small, are already leveraging IBM Connections to enable their organisations to become more engaged, transparent, and nimble. IBM Connections is social software for business that enables you to leverage the benefits of Social, with options to deploy on premise, private hosted, or in the cloud. Social Business can add real value to your organisation as well …

  • Knowledge Accidents – How do you encourage the discovery of actionable knowledge?
  • Wisdom of the crowd – Who do you ask when you don’t know who to ask?
  • Expertise Location – How do you find the expert or knowledge when you need to?
  • Expertise Generation – How do you convert tacit knowledge that is stuck in peoples heads, into explicit knowledge that can be leveraged and shared?
  • Capture Knowledge & Processes to create repeatable activities
  • Discover the Digital Trail … Who created it? Who Shared it? What versions are there? Who needs to be updated?
  • Get out of email jail! Become more open and transparent and share your knowledge rather than trapping it in your inbox.

There are many real benefits of Social Business but fundamentally I believe it comes down to this simple fact – the more people you know, the more things you can do!

ISW is running a series of breakfast events in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Hobart focusing on the value of Social Software for Business. If you would like to learn more about Social Business register today to secure your place in this round table event and learn how Australian organisations are leveraging Social Business to drive real value for their organisations.


  1. Adam, I also remember the time when internet was blocked (actually there are still some companies that do that). And also the removal or blocking of the CD drive, because it could be used for gaming!

    Good article. Love the picture.

  2. Why did primitive humans hunt in packs? Why do so many people live in towns? Why do we communicate with one another, even through non-verbal means? The bottom line is human beings are social animals. The graph says it all: the human beings who have survived are the ones who talked and worked together and learned from one another. Kill social and you kill productivity.

  3. @jasontoheal we are thinking about planning the same event in Perth soon. In fact we were just discussing it yesterday. Let me know if you are interested.

    @sasja. Thanks

    @paul great points. You are right we are all social beings. To stifle social is to stifle what we are.

    @ian you are most welcome ;)

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