The business case for the social enterprise – step 1A and 1B

I had an interesting discussion about the “Consumerization of IT” and how it is much much more than just BYOD.  Consumerization of IT, while inclusive of BYOD, is also the expectation on consumer like user experiences in enterprise applications.  Enterprise applications that have focused on UX are the leaders in their industry.  Look no further than Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer – and Yammer isn’t even the best but Microsoft recognized that SharePoint did not match the experience we have as consumers on platforms like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

I have been involved in implementing ‘communities’ for both internal and customer facing purposes as far back as 2004 why MySpace ruled the world and there are 2 critical steps to ensuring you have success in starting your project.  First, identify clear use cases and needs across the entire organization or function where you are looking to implement this solution.  You should always tie these to business initiatives as well – for example ‘increasing customer engagement’ or ‘increasing sales by n’ since these platforms can have positives effects in both areas.

The next step I feel is important, really more of a 1B than a 2 (and can argue with myself as to whether this should be 1A) is secure budget early.  For as many successful implementations I have seen, I have seen just as many never launch even though you did step 1A flawlessly because we were never going to get finance to sign the check.  Make sure you have a clear dollar amount, approved by your highest level finance person and the CEO.  Money can always disapeer, but make sure you have  a clear understanding with your execs on this project moving forward.

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