Perhaps I’m being a bit cynical here, but after reading the well written blog post The Elephant in the Social Software Room from Craig Roth of Burton I decided to re-read it, substituting the arguments around social software with the arguments about allowing the use of Instant Messaging in corporations from 8 years ago, or even eMail from 30 years ago. Take the first paragraph and apply any of these technologies to the argument….
“…, organizations often fret about potential negative impacts of breaking down organizational and, to some extent, social barriers. Some stakeholders wonder whether execs really want borderless discussions among their staffs, whether engineers really want sales people to be able to contact them directly, whether employees will spread poor practices without gatekeepers, etc….”
It seems that the issues and potential organizational impacts, and therefore the decisions IT execs need to focus on, haven’t really changed that much over the years, all that’s changed is the specific application. The real impact is that all future hires will have social networking built into their personal interactions, and assume that it’s a standard way of doing business. This is basic consumerization doing what it always does – forcing IT to adapt to technologies they aren’t ready for. The challenge for IT is to put a strategy in place to adopt social software and integrate it into their business process, and to do it proactively, rather than in reaction to business demands.