Lessons from IBM: 4 Barriers To Social Business Adoption

January 4, 2012 Comments
Lessons from IBM: 4 Barriers To Social Business Adoption

In the below video, IBM’s Vice President of Social Business, Sandy Carter discusses four barriers that are currently preventing companies from becoming a social business.  Sandy references a 2011 IBM Study where 2000 companies globally were asked what their top inhibitors were to adopting social within their organizations. They were:

  1. Security – the fear of intrusion; and uninvited visitors gaining access into a private community
  2. Adoption – more than just technology deployment,  but if and how employees will use the technology
  3. Culture – is the business culture ready to listen to employees, partners and customers OR are they a culture that continues to want to do things their way
  4. Compliance – regulated companies are unsure of what they can share, tweet, and blog about without violating any laws

The biggest hurdle to social business adoption is culture.

Not only is this based on personal experience from working in the enterprise but others in the industry think so too. Information Week’s (The Brain Yard) Editor, David Carr recently posted the Top 10 Enterprise Social Networking Obstacles, in which “Command-and-control culture” was number one.  Also, Dion Hinchcliffe from the Dachis Group made some excellent social business predictions for 2012 back in December. He predicts that social intranets will continue to struggle not from a technology perspective but from lack of collaboration (and sometimes fighting he states) between internal teams like IT, Human Resources, Marketing, etc. This is a culture challenge.

Deploying technology solutions for enterprise privacy & security is certainly an achievable initiative today. And, regulated companies like Wells Fargo and the Mayo Clinic are finding that engaging with social customers is not that difficult even in an industry with many rules and regulations. What’s difficult is changing human behavior, especially in large organizations with several thousand employees working in remote locations. It requires that all employees, regardless of job function, level or physical location begin to change the way they do their jobs.  It starts at the top and it’s more than just executives giving lip service. They have to eat their own social dog food, kind of like IBM.

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