Smarter Planet - Social business - Overview
The world now spends more than 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites per month. This equates to 22 percent of all time online―or one in every 4.5 minutes.
Just ten years ago, there was another significant shift in the way people interacted with each other: the Web came to the workplace. From e-commerce and peer-to-to peer file sharing to the emergence of web-based solutions for financial, accounting, and supply chain systems, the web has become a serious business tool for organizations and industries of every kind. And the evolution continues.
Now social networking services are on track to replace email as the primary communications method for many business users in the next few years. It’s a concept IBM social computing evangelist Luis Suarez has advocated for several years. But this new paradigm impacts more than the inbox. As each company looks to incorporate social networking technologies, it is, in fact, becoming what IBM calls a Social Business.
This approach shifts the focus from static content and other temporary artifacts to the source of the energy, creativity, and decision making that moves the business forward: people. As a result, people not only find what they need, but also discover valuable expertise and information they weren’t even looking for that might solve a problem in a new way.
It’s no longer a BtoB or BtoC relationship. It’s PtoP.
People to people isn’t about file sharing. It means that every department, from HR to marketing to product development to customer service, uses social media the way it uses any other tool and channel to do its job. A company that uses social networking tools fluently to communicate with people inside and outside the company acts as a Social Business.
So what does a Social Business look like?
A Social Business isn’t just a company that has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. A Social Business is one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally.
IBM has identified three distinct characteristics of a Social Business:
- A Social Business is engaged—deeply connecting people, including customers, employees, and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.
- A Social Business is transparent—removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.
- A Social Business is nimble—speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.
Download Social Business white papers
Social Business: advent of a new age (959KB)
Becoming a Social Business: the IBM story (180KB)
IBM Social Business Jam Report (2MB)