Why email when there is social media? Knowledge workers are bogged down by tasks like responding to and reading emails, and by simply looking for the information they need to complete daily tasks. But can social business make them more productive, and make businesses run better?
Connections at the Tipping Point
Working together is part of what makes us human, but some technology, like email, has not lived up to its promise to make our lives easier. Likewise, staying on task and focused is also a bit harder when the entire Internet is just a swipe away. One of the ways social business tools, including collaboration software, can help break through this ironically technological roadblock is by connecting us in new ways.
Two years ago, CIOs were jumping into social, but it was still early days, Rob Koplowitz, a Forrester analyst said at a recent Jive Software event. Now, Forrester is grinding it out by helping companies fine tune things like sales processes using social tools, he said.
"2012 really did feel like a sea change in social," Koplowitz said. "Sales, marketing, training, HR and operations can benefit the most from social collaboration tools."
The biggest percentage of companies are using tools like LinkedIn and Facebook, but not far behind are Jive, Telligent and NewsGator, for example.
Why Your Sales Process Sucks
So why is it so hard to get people to try new tools that will make their jobs a bit less hectic? Corporate turnover rates are at an all time high because people feel disconnected from their jobs. Workers are spending so much time sifting through email, for example, they lose sight of what they are really there to do.
This just adds to companies' costs because new people have to be trained, so retaining talent needs to be prioritized, Christopher Morace, Jive Software chief strategy officer said at the event.
"Getting people to understand how crappy their workflows are really gets them grounded as to what they can do differently," Morace said in reference to thing like sales enablement cycles. It's not about hyping social anymore, he said, it's come down to line of business.
Technology is speeding up all aspects of business, and social collaboration tools may finally go mainstream in 2013.
Exhaustive Report Props up Social
The Jive Software team is fond of holding up one particular report as proof their company is on the right track (although Jive's own success may speak just as loudly these days). McKinsey Global Institute, the grandfather of management consulting firms, released a whopping 180 page report last summer on how transformative social technology is.
McKinsey predicts companies will make loads of cash in social, but also goes into great detail about how it will specifically affect industries like consumer packaged goods, consumer financial services, professional services, advanced manufacturing and even NGOs and non profits.
If we are ever to achieve a more social economy, the report found, these same social tools even need to be applied to the education, healthcare and personal health worlds. Social can be the engine behind disruptive change in any industry, McKinsey reported, and companies like Jive, LinkedIn and Telligent are at the front of that disruption.