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Field Research Study: Social Networking Within the Enterprise

Field Research Study: Social Networking Within the Enterprise

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Published by Giuseppe Riva

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Published by: Giuseppe Riva on Dec 15, 2010
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08/21/2014

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Field Research Study: Social NetworkingWithin the Enterprise
Version: 1.0, Feb 20, 2009
AUTHOR(S):
Mike Gotta
(mgotta@burtongroup.com)
TECHNOLOGY THREAD:
Communication
Conclusion
Study participants felt that they were behind their competitors—or the market in general—whenit came to their social networking initiatives. Based on the results of this field research project,Burton Group concludes that such perceptions were unfounded. Many organizations have yet tomake an enterprise-wide decision on social networking technology. Even in those that have,most projects are in proof-of-concept or early stages of deployment. Burton Group alsoconcludes that organizations are struggling with many non-technology issues within socialnetworking initiatives (e.g., business case, metrics, policies and controls, roles andresponsibilities, employee participation models, and cultural dynamics).
 
Collaboration and Content Strategies
In-Depth Research Overview
101973
 
Table Of Contents
Synopsis..........................................................................................................................................................................3Analysis...........................................................................................................................................................................4A Need for Clarity Amid the Hype.............................................................................................................................4Contextual Research Study Methodology...................................................................................................................4What We Discovered..................................................................................................................................................5 No Consensus Exists on the Applicability of Social Networking..........................................................................6Social Networks Could Address Old and New Challenges....................................................................................6Orchestrating the Business Case Is More Art than Science....................................................................................6Determining Funding, Value, and ROI Is a Struggle..............................................................................................6Cultural Dynamics Come to the Forefront..............................................................................................................7Governance Cannot Be an Afterthought.................................................................................................................7Plan Early or Pay Later: Legal, HR, Security, and Compliance.............................................................................7HR Departments Have a Strategic Role..................................................................................................................8Effective Adoption Strategies Are the Tipping Point for Success..........................................................................8“Corporate Facebook” Sites Are a Common Starting Point...................................................................................9Profiles and Expertise Take Center Stage...............................................................................................................9Social Networking and Community Building Go Hand-In-Hand..........................................................................9IT Organizations Search to Find a Social Purpose.................................................................................................9User Experience Trumps Features........................................................................................................................10Platform Approaches Are Winning Out................................................................................................................10What's Next?.............................................................................................................................................................10The Details....................................................................................................................................................................12What Is Contextual Research?..................................................................................................................................12Why Is This Approach Different?.........................................................................................................................12How We Did It..........................................................................................................................................................12Phase 1: Call for Participation..............................................................................................................................12Phase 2: “LEARN”...............................................................................................................................................13Phase 3: Analysis..................................................................................................................................................14Conclusion....................................................................................................................................................................15Author Bio ....................................................................................................................................................................162
BURTON GROUP
7090 Union Park Center Suite 200 Midvale · Utah 84047 · P 801.566.2880 · F 801.566.3611 · www.burtongroup.com
 
Synopsis
The media, blogs, and vendors are all abuzz about social networking tools, and some enterprises have started toroll them out. When discussing the topic with Burton Group clients, the rationale behind social networkinginitiatives often falls into one or more of the following: expertise location, community building, and talentmanagement. In some cases, IT viewed social networking as a technology endeavor. This perspective wasespecially common when social networking functions were already part of existing collaboration platforms. Inthose situations, IT organizations felt it was sufficient to just “turn on” those features rather than look at vendor alternatives. However, even in cases where strategists had identified business and IT drivers for social networking projects, many still had a noticeable level of uncertainty regarding the business case and return-on-investmentfrom such tools.Given this large-scale uncertainty, Burton Group initiated an in-depth field research study to help clientsunderstand the business, organizational, and technical factors to consider when formulating social networkingstrategies and initiating internal projects. Over a three-month period, Burton Group conducted 30 interviews with65 business and IT personnel representing 21 organizations. The group included both Burton Group clients andnon-clients.Based on analysis of the field research study data, a common pattern that characterizes the progression of socialnetworking initiatives emerged. The 15 key findings categorized below outline the critical issues strategists willalmost certainly encounter:
Getting started is difficult, but not impossible:
1No consensus exists on the applicability of social networking.2Social networks could address old and new challenges.3Orchestrating the business case is more art than science.4Determining funding, value, and return on investment (ROI) is a struggle.
Addressing business and cultural needs early on is critical:
1Cultural dynamics come to the forefront.2Governance cannot be an afterthought.3Plan early or pay later: legal, human resources (HR), security, and compliance.4HR departments have a strategic role.
Facilitating social participation requires creative thinking:
1Effective adoption strategies are the tipping point for success.2“Corporate Facebook” sites are a common starting point.3Profiles and expertise take center stage.4Social networks and community building go hand-in-hand.
Enabling social environments is challenging for IT organizations:
1IT organizations search to find a social purpose.2User experience trumps features.3Platform approaches are winning out.This overview provides an outline of the study, explains its methodology, and summarizes actual findings. Aseries of documents will follow with each companion overview diving more deeply into areas covered in thisoverview.3
BURTON GROUP
7090 Union Park Center Suite 200 Midvale · Utah 84047 · P 801.566.2880 · F 801.566.3611 · www.burtongroup.com

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