Like with any technology and/or trend in IT, social is only useful in the context of YOUR business. Figure out why you need it; and it's useful. Just expecting to become a "social business;" not going to work so much. Ray Wang talks business needs and how ubiquitous, and transformative, mobile tools are and will become.
How Mobile and Location Convergence Will Drive Context in the Future of Apps
R “Ray” Wang
Principal Analyst and CEO
Constellation Research Group
Thursday, March 22. 9:00 AM
Duhon: In your consulting work, what’s the most common objection to “social business?”
Wang: The key objection is a fear of change. But once we walk them through the DEEPR framework, it helps them design a roadmap for successful adoption of disruptive technologies such as social.
Duhon: Constellation has done a lot of research on adoption of social tools; what are the top 3 “low-hanging fruit” for using these tools that organizations can start using quickly?
Wang: We usually start by identifying the business objectives. What do you want to move the needle on first. Once we do that, we can then figure out what metrics matter, what business processes need to be thought through. After this process, we can then figure out if we have the right tool for the job.
Duhon: Many people continue to consider social “fluffy.” What hard measurements are most effective at overcoming that perception?
Wang: The fluffiness comes from too many folks who don't understand the needs of an enterprise. Hard metrics that define tangible benefits and costs along with quantify the impact of agility and risk help. More importantly are strategic considerations around intangible benefits and costs.
Duhon: Some of the benefits are actually “fluffy” and hard to measure. How do you attempt to measure things like customer service, improved internal communications, etc.?
Wang: We use the Business Hierarchy of needs to address these types of issues. http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2011/12/27/tuesdays-tip-apply-maslows-hierachy-of-needs-to-c-level-business-strategy/
Duhon: Why do you think gamification will be so important moving forward?
Wang: Gamification plays a key role in driving engagement to influence and effect behaviors and outcomes. The convergence of social, mobile, and context will require an engaged customer. In addition, the notions of work and play are converging. How we design incentives systems need to reflect this.
Duhon: How transformative for work, and life, will smartphones be going forward? Seems we’re just scratching the surface of where we’ll be in 10 years, much less longer.
Wang: Smartphones play one role. I think the bigger area will be this notion of always on, always accessible computing. Smartphones play one role of interface. The Internet of things and mesh networks will drive another paradigm. The convergence will lead to contextual services that will help us shift from engagement to experiences.
Duhon: What do you find most fascinating about the intersection of “social, local, and mobile”?
Wang: I'm excited by the contextual services that can be provided. It'll be more than just a suggestion or offer for a buy one, get one free lunch special as you pass by a cafe. It'll be the ability to help you find people in your network in context. Imagine if these services could predict and suggest the next likely path you should consider. For example, after a 10 mile run, the system would tell you that you've burned 300 calories and could afford a few options in beverages from a cold beer to a jamba juice.