Appian World 2012 Keynote: Impact of Social Technologies on the Enterprise – Sandy Kemsley

The final keynote presentation for day 1 of Appian World was given by Sandy Kemsley, owner of Kemsley Design Ltd and blogger at Column 2. She presented “The Impact of Social Technologies on the Enterprise: How social tools will change the way you run your business.”


Kemsley talked about the impact of consumer social tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which are some of the most popular websites around. The wide adoption of these tools set expectations for consumption, participation, creation, user experience, and access. We’ve become more than just consumers on the web; we’ve become creators.

The “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” phenomenon has had a large impact as well. It changes the technology and security infrastructure. Users are consuming and creating information on everything from browsers and computers to smartphones and apps.

Kemsley discussed the results of linking external social presence to core business processes. It changes the customer relationship, extends the ends of the process, increases external collaboration, and forces operational transparency. For example, intercepting Tweets that mention your company can trigger a customer service process, which is a very powerful tool.

Kemsley displayed a high-level social business maturity model, showing both internal (aka enterprise 2.0) and external (customer/partner facing) social business merging into a unified strategy. At the highest level, optimized social business includes strategic executive focus, significant budget, even a social business unit/center of excellence. According to the maturity model, most businesses in 2012 are more advanced in their external social business strategy.

She then moved on to discuss social as a feature, not an application. Social changes the internal user capabilities and increases flexibility, visibility and participation. In advanced collaboration, any participant can be selected (or self-select) for a process, as opposed to each task in a process being assigned to specific roles at design time. Harkening back to Daryl Plummer’s talk on extreme collaboration, this allows for more power to the people and fewer things slipping through the cracks. Increased social collaboration changes the management style and increases trust and responsibility.

Social also has an effect on data. It changes business analytics and decisioning. Companies are now able to monitor and respond to events, not just outcomes.

Kemsley’s advice for Getting Ready For Social Business Processes:

  • Your customer is part of your process
  • Let your workers do the right thing
  • Identify and enable social processes
  • Use predictive analytics for proactive problem detection