Last week at Catalyst North America, Mike G and I unveiled our only-slightly-ridiculous Glazer Gotta Equation. This equation describes the factors that an enterprise evaluates during its consideration to deploy social tools. The factors are:
- Control over the service
- Location of the data
- Sensitivity of the data
- Age of data
- Location of the person
Control over the service
When it comes to control, there’s a big difference if the social tool is deployed and maintained by a central IT team (such as an internally hosted Sharepoint MySites deployment) versus a tool hosted by a 3rd party offered to the public (such as Yammer).
Location of the data
Not surprisingly where the data is stored is a huge consideration. Having data shared by employees in the EU stored in the US versus having data shared by employees all over the world stored in a data center in Singapore makes a big difference to enterprises considering their legal requirements.
Sensitivity of the data
If the social tool is going to be used for talent management and location, it is a safe bet that the sensitivity of the data will be less (typically speaking) than if the tool is going to be used as collaborative one on financial or health data.
Age of data
“The email from three years old never saves you,” said Mike. The burdens of eDiscovery has enterprises asking for an ability to forget. That blog post from 4 years ago from an exec mentioning a set of options the enterprise could have taken to prevent a customer issue, but didn’t, that one isn’t going to help during a class action suit.
Location of the person
Given the rich tapestry of legal requirements tied to specific geographies, knowing and fully considering the locations from where people will be using a social tool is critical. People often think US versus EU in this regard, but that is becoming increasingly too granular. Start thinking Massachusetts versus Alabama.
Because regulatory and legal obligations change over time, the enterprise has to consider the previous 5 items over a time period. Not only does this require the input of counsel, but also legislative affairs to provide some forward looking insight into upcoming changes to the regulatory landscape.
Put all these factors together and the equation looks like this:
This equation is meant to be a bit of a light-hearted way of illustrating the concerns that enterprises have with respect to social tools. One of the clear lessons of the Glazer Gotta Equation is that enterprise decisions are never final – changes in the law and changes in service location can re-open decisions to deploy social tools. Enterprise teams have to have the stamina to examine all of the factors in the Equation and do so on an on-going basis if there is hope to derive real value from social tools.