Everything You Need to Know About Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 in Three Short Reports

That headline is, of course, a pathetic lie. But the reports are still quite good.

Throughout the second half of 2011, I worked with AIIM (the professional organization for information management and collaboration pros) on a task force to understand the state of Enterprise 2.0 / social business / call-it-what-you-will.

We conducted both a broad survey and a series of case studies, concentrating on three areas:

  • Enterprise Q&A (EQ&A), or the ability to ask questions at large – to an unknown and unspecified audience – without having to guess in advance who might be able to answer them. Enterprise Q&A is a technologically-facilitated way to achieve serendipity.
  • Open Innovation (OI), or tapping into the wisdom of crowds to help solve problems and formulate new offerings.
  • Marketing and Sales Integration, which many say is problematic. These two functions need to work closely together, yet often don’t share information or keep each other in the loop.
Reports of our findings have just been released under the heading “When Social Meets Business Real Work Gets Done.” The three reports are short, but dense with useful facts, conclusions, and recommendations. Among my favorites:
  • OI appears to be powerful and successful. 48% of respondents engaging in OI report that it has already yielded major changes to internal processes, and 34% report major changes to their external offerings. In both cases, the corresponding figures are higher for minor offerings.
  • Within OI, idea voting and ranking capabilities are underutilized. In more than 70% of OI environments, participants can comment on others’ ideas. However, fewer than half support the ability of participants to vote, refine, or volunteer to work on others’ ideas. I think this percentage should be higher.
  • The use of E2.0 technologies to help Marketing and Sales integration is the least mature of our 3 use cases. Only 18% of survey respondents report that they have efforts underway in this area.
  • Once E2.0 is in place between Marketing and Sales, it gets used. 79% of respondents say that their environments are “reasonably well used,” “heavily used,” or “quite heavily used.”
  • EQ&A remains under-appreciated. Over 40% of survey respondents who report not having this capability indicate that they saw no need for it, or already felt they knew who could answer any given question.
  • EQ&A generates powerful results. 45% of respondents say that they are either ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘moderately satisfied’ with their capability. This percentage rises to 60% among organizations that offer rewards for EQ&A participation.

Overall, my work with the task force left me with three broad conclusions: that E2.0 delivers, that it’s spreading, and that it’s still far from universally deployed or understood. The phenomenon of social business, in short, is real, and it’s not anywhere close to being played out.

I’d like to thank the AIIM team and the 20 members of the task force for being great collaborators on this project. At AIIM, President John Mancini, VP Peggy Winton, and Director, Systems of Engagement Jesse Wilkins were invaluable colleagues. If you work with your organization’s information or collaboration resources and technologies, you’ll surely find AIIM a treasure trove of resources (and yes, I was paid. But not to say that).