I’ve been reading the following book to try to gain a better understanding of what makes a successful social company “The social organization: how to use social media to tap the collective genius of your customers and employees“by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald has some useful ideas.
In it they state that social media is a consumerization phenomenon that started and grew from consumer behaviour on the internet and is now influencing organizations. p.108. To me, this means that if an organisation doesn’t provide the software that they have become accustomed to using, that they will find other sources, usually free to meet their needs. They’ll use software such as Google Drive to create, work collaboratively on and store documents. They might install Skype or some other software for instant messaging or video phone calls. This can create some issues with IT staff who aren’t usually happy to support free software or fix any problems that this software may cause (viruses, and malware spring to mind). Issues with data security and data duplication can also arise.
When companies are looking for new business software, they should consider packages that allow for greater collaborative between employees to capitalise on some of the skills they may already have in using these social networking tools. Products such as SharePoint from Microsoft allow for more collaborative work within an organisation – it allows sharing of content both internally and externally. SharePoint has just been implemented into my workplace to replace an intranet that was beginning to become increasingly unmanageable and hard to search. It has been customised to suit our needs and includes a blog, wiki and other social networking features. I’ve yet to have a good look at the functionality but so far the availability of some social tools like discussion forums and the ability to access content from home is looking promising. What’s your experience of collaborative software in the workplace?