It has been observed in the recent years that a lot of organizations have introduced Enterprise Social Network (ESN) in their work systems to improve the knowledge sharing processes, streamline communication channels and encourage collaborative behaviour.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in the year 2013, more than 90% of all Fortune 500 companies had partially or fully implemented an ESN by the end of 2013. This adds up to almost 70% growth as compared to the year 2011. With the increase in the number of employees using ESN, the need to understand the role and the impact of these social technologies is also on the rise in the knowledge intensive corporate world. The top companies of the world that has implemented ESN in the work system are utilizing it to support expert findings, information seeking, idea sharing, team coordination, depending upon the existing work practices. There are some leading companies that have been using ESN to transform their corporate culture from “command and control to connect and co-ordinate”, as , ESN platform emphasize on making meaningful connections, indulging into conversations that matter; and producing effective collaboration for better results.
The employees of the modern age are very dynamic and adaptive in nature. They are inclined towards the new age technology and are also absorbing it in their behavior to respond to work and are now doing things in a better way. In order to achieve the 360 collaboration, enterprises are realizing the importance of introducing innovative platforms enabling their ‘tech-savvy’ workforce to communicate effectively, share ideas and best practices, exhibit their work to others and more importantly, discovering experts easily who can provide an easy solution to a difficult task that is stuck for long time!
The rise in social networking has given a new edge to improve and drive effective collaboration in an enterprise. With the advent of social technology and web 2.0, there has been a dramatic transformation in the way people interact and communicate. And enterprises would want to harness the power of social interaction to drive collaboration. Enterprise Social Networks are picking up the pace to become business-critical applications as they break down the barriers to information sharing while helping remove traditional organizational silos. With ESN, the discovery of information becomes easier and what more – the process is tied to relevant work context.
Deploying an ESN across the enterprise simply means enabling knowledge discovery and information sharing. As more employees join and use the network, it begins to function as the network of communication layers across the enterprise’s existing application portfolio. This paradigm redefines the context of SOCIAL for future enterprises. Collaboration in a social network transforms from traditional file centric model to people-centric model that brings people together as binding nodes of network with information, discussions, ideas and communication connecting them.
This ‘mesh’ of effectively connected enterprise harnesses the potential of employees, thereby resulting in increased productivity and driven business performance thus bringing impressive results to an organization. In addition to effective collaboration and knowledge discovery being the primitives of having such network, decision support too is enabled as an added benefit from a functioning ESN. Supporting ad hoc decision making by connecting the right team with the right resource gives the employees the ability to make the right decision based on the most relevant information source. All these advantages offered by the ESN leads to business benefits that are significant from perspective of ROI and impact.
Enterprise Social Networks are rapidly becoming business-critical systems for companies that want to compete in the new information-driven knowledge economy and globally connected environment. Connecting employees with each other and making accessible relevant data, content, and enterprise systems is an important building block in building a knowledge sharing culture and a collaborative enterprise. CIOs must partner with business leaders to provide employees with new communication and collaboration capabilities that are critical for maintaining employee engagement, driving knowledge sharing, and fundamentally changing the way an enterprise drives productivity.
In nutshell, as businesses are progressing to perform extravagantly on ever rising competitive landscape, technology is greatly impacting the way everyone connect, communicate and collaborate in an enterprise which can be exactly facilitated by ESNs; irrespective of size of organization, and nature of business.
Saif Ahmad, president and COO, Xavient Information Systems