Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT

By Jesse Wilkins posted 01-18-2011 13:28



I am pleased to announce that AIIM's new white paper, "Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT" is now available at This white paper describes the current state of enterprise IT vs. the increasing consumerization of technology as reflected in the ubiquity of mobile devices and the surge in usage of commercial social technologies like Facebook and Twitter. 
As the white paper notes, 
"Why aren't the applications that are critical to any organization as easy to implement as an app on an Android device or the iPhone? Why do consumer applications feel so much cooler than those in our organizations? Why is it - as Tony Zingale from Jive recently said - that we know more about what our high school girlfriend had for dinner than what is going on within our organization?" The bottom line: "How can it be that I am so powerful as a consumer and so LAME as an employee?"
This is not stuff that is years away, or on the horizon - organizations are using both enterprise social technologies and commercial services to drive revenue, increase market share, respond to customer requests, and much more. The tools are starting to become integrated into business processes.
And perhaps more importantly, we are starting to see some distinction between organizations that "get it" and those that continue to resist. A recent survey by McKinsey found that organizations that leverage Web 2.0 tools were more likely to be market leaders or gain market share and had higher margins than less-savvy companies.In other words, organizations do not really have the luxury of deciding to sit on the sidelines - for if they do, they will watch as their competitors catch up to and pass them. 
At the same time, though, organizations have to be smart about social technologies. Organizations have implemented systems of record for decades to manage their information. Just because these new tools, these systems of engagement, are easier to implement and use does not mean that they cannot or should not be managed. It's rather the opposite, in no small part because their ease of use means that everyone uses them and understands them and because they tend to be much less formal, with the result that organizations could find themselves embarrassed or worse. 
The challenge then is to figure out how to implement and employ social technologies quickly, responsibly, and in a way that supports the goals and objectives of the organization. This white paper is a start to that. 
It's been an interesting six months or so - a lot of intense work has gone into this white paper and the underlying research. Yet at the same time it's just the first step. AIIM has developed a social business roadmap that organizations can follow or customize to introduce and support social technologies. And we are developing briefings for senior management that will explain the roadmap and how to use it in greater detail, including use cases and case studies. The briefings will be available both as public events and as private or custom workshops. 
I hope readers will find the white paper useful. Questions, comments, and interest in our next steps can be directed to me at

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