Consumers have adopted social networking as a way to stay connected with friends and share ideas, music, pictures, and videos. The trend is now hot in the enterprise market. eWeek recently had an article that discussed seven critical elements to effective enterprise social networks. Here is my summary of that article.
- User Friendly Look. One of the reasons Facebook has been popular is it has a simple clean look, much like what Google has (although the recent revamp of Facebook looks a little more cluttered!!!). eWeek says Lotus Connections and Socialtext are two vendors employing this user friendly look and feel.
- Business-Specific Applications. Enterprises users don't only want to communicate, but they seek to collaborate (via tools like blogs and wikis) in order to solve business problems.
- Multiple Communication Systems. Enterprise users want a variety of ways to communicate and share information, including messaging, bookmarks, chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs, micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter).
- Security. Enterprise users require and expect a level of security above consumer sites.
- Scalability. Everything points to a huge growth in users of enterprise social networks and that will translate into a huge growth in the number of transactions those networks will need to handle.
- Interact with Legacy Software. Enterprise social networks will need to integrate with existing software within the business.
- Video and Multimedia. Future enterprise users will come to expect the ability to share and view all types of media, including videos, podcasts, and photos.
This list covers some, but not all the elements needed for effective social network. It focuses mainly on the social platform and misses the importance of the people and processes behind the social networks. Without passionate people and community processes, a social network will limp along. I don’t care how cool the social network technology platform is.
For the full article, see eWeeks "7 Things Needed For An Enterprise Social Network"