In one of IBM's Social Business coffee breaks, Sandy Carter, Vice President of Social Business Evangelism at IBM, walks through the first four trends that have disrupted the business over the last 20 years -- Mainframes, Departmental, PCs and the Internet. Now, she says we are in the fifth era -- social business.

Carter describes that “social” is more than just Facebook and Twitter, and even gives an example of a conversation she had with a CIO of a large bank during the internet era many years ago. The CIO told her that banking would never be done over the Internet; and if it did, he would give her his year’s salary. She never collected it.

IBM is one of those companies that I can probably count on one hand that has truly embraced social business not only from a technology perspective but also cultural. For example, they have been advocating that their employees engage in social media (and the Internet) for well over 10 years and have close to 25,000 employees on Twitter, 300,000 employees on LinkedIn and 198,000 employees on Facebook. This accomplishment certainly didn’t happen overnight, and it’s certain that internally, IBM has governance models, process workflow and policies established that govern and empower employee collaboration.

Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading: