Seventhman Blog

Should You Adopt Social Enterprise Networks for Your Business?

"social enterprise network"Recently, I’ve encountered a post from Small Business Trends about Google+ testing enterprise social networking features for their site.  This is great news for those who are already utilizing other Google products so everything’s in one place this time and there’s no need to jump platforms.  While the simplest definition for social enterprise networks is ‘Facebook for Business’ – it’s not entirely the case.  Take for example Yammer where you can view news feeds and updates of your group.  It may look like a rather exclusive version of the popular social networking site, but it differs from how your organization use it to make collaboration amongst your team a seamless experience.  Should your business invest its  efforts in adopting the social enterprise networking experience as well?

Integration and Synergy from Within

While not everyone can benefit from setting up an internal network within your organization, doing so helps keep everyone going on the right direction.  Some may say that networking is a distraction and a time drain, but on the contrary, the value to be had is bigger than what one can imagine, especially when these technologies are used to improve communication and collaboration across departments.  There are plenty of enterprise social networking tools to choose from and for this to work successfully, businesses must draft clear guidelines so that all employees can participate in the integration of the daily workflow process.  This means harnessing a culture of trust, information-sharing and open conversation.  Consequently, businesses are struggling with these.

Enterprise Social Networks: Weighing the Pros and Cons

When many employees choose the new way of working, we see a new breed of byod enthusiasts who are choosing project-based work where they can do tasks anytime, anywhere.  You may say it’s counter-intuitive, but recent studies may surprise you on how these social technologies are changing the world – from families, friends, businesses, and down to consumers.  There are still untapped potentials where social technologies are concerned and for your business to successfully utilize these, you have to create a culture of trust and motivate participation among your team.  While there have been a raucous lately on the trademark where the term ‘social enterprise‘ is concerned, you must dedicate your business in identifying the sole purpose of using these tools before you can implement the process.

The Pros

1.  More transparency when it comes to monitoring your team’s progress
2.  Saves time wasted on sending emails, making phone calls and conducting meetings
3.  Better communication when changes are needed to be done to meet tight deadlines
4.  Faster feedback when you need insights from your team and other experts in your network
5.  Boost engagement and idea generation activities among the team

The Cons

1.  If not properly run, people may get confused with project milestones
2.  In line with item #1, there will be decrease in productivity
3.  Adopting networking policies may be difficult especially when reinforcing the idea that it has both business and community functions
4.  Culture clash and miscommunication can still happen
5.  Some people in your team may find the system complex and consider it time-consuming ( not to mention the bugs they may encounter )

At some point, you have to recognize when social enterprise is working for your business or not.  As the adage goes, ‘Keep It Simple!‘ These applications are not that perfect and it’s your task to weigh in the value of these tools for your business.