As I sit here in the Delta Sky Club at Detroit Airport pondering the impact social networking and social networking tools have made and continue to make in both our personal and business lives, I am amazed by what has been accomplished and intrigued by what lies ahead. I am fortunate in that I get to travel the globe meeting some great people and discuss the finer points of information management practices and technology, a field in which I have served these many years. There are many instances where reference will be made to something that someone said on some social network or in some online video. It is amazing and fascinating.
In the 1980’s video conferencing was but a dream for a few, and yet today, it is common to “fire up a session” and do a live video call. The telecom companies had talked about it in the 1990’s but it never happened; it is available to everyone today through a PC and over the internet. The idea of social networks is not especially new as we used to use digital bulletin boards in the past – cumbersome perhaps but cutting edge at the time with the intent to connect people of like interests; with the change in technology, this capability has grown beyond expectations and continues to evolve as now we see in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other social networking tools. One of the keys to all of this is that it is more readily available to share with more people than ever before. This led me to think about the convergence of these tools and the business world.
AIIM recently released a great White Paper touching on this very topic titled Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise ITwritten by Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Managing Director, TCG Advisors. Here he examines the fundamental revolution taking place in enterprise IT as a result of Internet access, mobile computing and the a myriad of elements including social networking. Imagine being able to first, connect all of your internal systems together in a way that your employees can access all of the information they require effortlessly and seamlessly. Secondly, leverage the technology to maximize exposure to your customers and prospective customers. This is where the future lies, in moving our information practices forward through the more intelligent application and use of technology in ways that bring higher returns to your organization.
In my view we are in the midst of an evolutionary phase that will lead businesses into new directions and engage new audiences in ways we never dreamed possible even a few years ago. The question is not one of can you do this but will you and if so, when? As with most scenarios like this, it is a reluctance based on human apprehension and lack of understanding for what it will take to effectively leverage technology in ways the business will gain and not be put at risk. This requires thought and planning but should not become the barrier of prevention. Think about the possibilities. Learn about the capabilities. Take the steps you need to move forward in connecting your internal organization and making your business go viral. I can guarantee your competition is already headed this way. If you are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started. Whatever you do, take action.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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