Home > Corporate Social Networks, e2.0, social business > Attack of the clones.

Attack of the clones.

Consumers/employees now have better gadgets than can be provided by their companies and their UX expectation is increasingly being set in the consumer world – after all if you are building software (or hardware) the bar for things like security is much lower.  Just walk past any Starbucks to see how many people are sitting there with their MacBook Air or iPad. This is great in many ways as it is making all of us working in the enterprise world up our game and go back to what is most important – the USER! However this can also be dangerous take a look at what is happening in the enterprise 2.0 space at the moment – ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Every corporate social network vendor out there is doing the same thing – copying facebook. Am I the only one who has noticed this? It is sort of like the windows 3.1 days when pretty much every desktop application looked the same and had the same way of interacting. There is a distinct lack of originality out there – Good artists may well copy but come on.

Let’s for the sake of argument say that this is the only way a social business platform should be implemented why is everyone so sure that this is what is needed? Look t the statistics posted by facebook at the f8 developer conference – they were very impressive:

  • 50% users log in every day 
  • The average Facebook user spends 20 minutes on his or her account during each visit.
  • The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, events and groups.
  • 91% of online American adults (approx. 129 million)access some form of social media each month. (Experian 2011 Social Media consumer report)
  • 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds access social accounts monthly 800Million or so users, 50% of users logging in daily

Now let’s compare that against enterprise adoption (where possible – from what figures I’ve managed to find).

  • “Just 22% of social software users tell us the technologies are vital to their jobs -Forrester
  • “We have anywhere from 10% to 20% of our employees logged onto Yammer at any given time.” -IGN Entertainment
  • ‘ What is interesting, however, is the fairly low estimates of actual adoption by Forrester, citing that only 12 percent of information workers are provided with enterprise social collaboration software, while just 8 percent of them use it once a week.’ – Dion Hinchcliffe – ZDnet.

Already I’d say the numbers aren’t looking hot… what good is a collaboration tool if you’ve not got anyone to collaborate with? I’ve no got the statistics on email usage but I would hazard a guess that 100% of workers who have an email account (for business purposes) access their email every day. That is what Social business tools should be seeing if they are doing their jobs right. These should be the first thing that is launched in the morning and the last thing that is turned off. As for ROI – it is often difficult to get hard ROI figures but if done correctly Enterprise2.0 will produce genuine ROI –

“ Intangible assets such as knowledge and technology seldom have a direct impact on financial outcomes such as increased revenues, lowered costs, and higher profits.  Improvements in intangible assets affect financial outcomes through chains of cause-and-effect relationships.“ – Bob Kaplan and David Norton – Strategy Maps

My suggestion to find out if it’s working at your organisation, try turning it off and se what happens – if people start shouting or calling meetings about it then you know that you have reached a tipping point and that the tool has become part of the organisational DNA.

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