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 Analyst firm IDC (newssite) has a complimentary report that outlines a Social Business Framework. If you find yourself still unsure how to tackle the whole issue of introducing social capabilities into your organization, this brief may be worth a read.

It's a Whole New Business World

As IDC points out, business in 2010 is not the same as business pre Web 2.0. "Not only are market factors and dynamics different, but the people are different." The social Web has made a lasting impact on how we need to do business.

But that doesn't mean the shift will be easy. In fact, as we've seen in much of our coverage on Enterprise Collaboration this month and on Enterprise 2.0 overall, there's a major cultural shift that an organization needs to make if they want to be successful.

4 Elements of a Social Business Framework

IDC outlines four key elements for this social business transition:

  1. Market factors: What are the market factors that are driving the need for your organization to change? i.e brand awareness, social customers, economy, competition and workforce dynamics
  2. Social Objectives: What are you trying to achieve by implementing social capabilities? better customer engagement? employee empowerment? partner enablement? supplier engagement?
  3. Social output: What types of output do you need to produce? i.e. social content and/or community
  4. Social Software: What type of social software do you need to implement to create your social outputs and achieve your social objectives?

The report goes through each of these elements in more detail, helping you understand what each means and how to relate it to your business. 

It's important to note that the order they are listed above, is the exact order of steps you need to follow for any project you take on. That doesn't mean this is a one time defining of factors, objectives and outputs.

Enabling your business to be more social will occur in stages, likely driven by those market factors that are the most pressing at the time. They will also be iterative, as you learn what works and doesn't, as new technologies become available to support your requirements and as your customers and employees push for new capabilities.

Read Deb Lavoy's: Collaborative Culture, or the Real Enterprise 2.0 

Think Technology Last

IDC's framework lists the social software last. And that's the right way to do it. Think about what you need to do and what you need to produce, then look for the software that will help you achieve your objectives. Don't select your technology first and adapt your objectives and content to it. You won't likely be successful.

You can download a complimentary copy of this report: Social Business Framework: Using People as a Platform to Enable Transformation from IDC's website.

Additional Reading: Scott Ryser's Six Counterintuitive Truths About Enterprise 2.0 Adoption