Businesses may need to be ready for social operations, whether they like it or not

The enterprise social movement is gaining steam and, in some cases, the momentum does not come from executives. A recent Microsoft study found that many workers are not only bringing their own devices to work, but are also using personal applications and services to get the job done more effectively. This is especially clear when it comes to social functionality, as employees are embracing mobile social tools even if the company they work for has not yet developed architectures to support such solutions.

Understanding the scope of the social challenge

Approximately 39 percent of those polled said there is a lack of collaboration where they work. In many cases, workers are becoming so desperate for better collaboration that they are taking matters into their own hands. Of those questioned in the study, 40 percent said they think social tools enable better teamwork, while 31 percent explained that they are willing to spend their own money on social solutions for work if their companies do not provide necessary functionality.

According to the study, employees working for companies in government and financial services feel the most restricted when it comes to using social tools to improve collaboration. Charlene Li , founder and analyst at Altimeter Group, explained that social tools are presenting new ways to work, and employees are embracing them. Businesses have to be prepared for this change.

“Employees are already bringing their own devices into their workplaces, but now they are increasingly bringing their own services as well,” said Li. “Employees expect to work differently, with tools that feel more modern and connected, but are also reflective of how they interact in their personal lives. Enterprise social represents a new way to work, and organizations embracing these tools are improving collaboration, speeding customer responses and creating competitive advantages.”

While social tools present significant opportunities for better work environments, many organizations face challenges when trying to maximize the value of social systems. Business process management solutions can help organizations refine process strategies to enable social operations.

Making the most of social solutions

Social BPM solutions can connect processes across various social tools, allowing organizations depending on cloud, mobile and social technologies from a variety of sources to enable better collaboration on a process level. As a result, workers can pass on projects easily because many core communications processes are automated, allowing employees to focus more on meaningful collaboration.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing