CIOs: Social Computing Is The Most Risky Emerging Technology

IBM recently published it’s 2010 Global Risk Study and the findings confirm that IT leaders today are very concerned about IT security and business resiliency.  The report found that 88% of those surveyed say that their company’s approach to risk is less than expert.  This comes at a time when there are increasing demands on IT leaders to accelerate their implementation of emerging technologies like cloud computing and social computing.

IBM surveyed 560 IT managers and CIOs from all types of companies located all over the world to talk in order to understand issues surrounding IT risks from the perspective of IT leaders.  IBM wanted to understand what their biggest obstacles are, where their biggest challenges lie, where they see the greatest potential for adding business value.

What caught my eye was a couple of questions in the survey that dealt with the risk involved with implementing emerging technologies.  Respondents to the survey were asked how their organization is positioned to acquire and deploy five emerging technologies

  1. Social computing/networking tools
  2. Mobile platforms
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Virtualization
  5. Service-oriented architecture (SOA)

Of these five technologies, social networking, mobile platforms and cloud computing were rated the most risky emerging technologies.    Social networking tools (64% respondents) came out on top as the technology that posed the greatest risk.  Second was mobile platforms (54%) followed by cloud computing (43%).  See the graph of the survey results below.

IBM Risk Study 2010  

According to the survey report, IT leaders say that the risks of these emerging technologies include issues related to accessibility, use and control of data (especially regarding social computing/networking), and the danger of having unauthorized access to confidential, proprietary information.

It’s not surprising that social networking/computing technologies is perceived as a risky emerging technology.   Most enterprises are still trying to figure out how to leverage social computing and extract business value.  There needs to be a greater focus by IT and Business leaders on establishing social computing processes, methods, and professional roles.   Once this is done, the risks can be minimized and social networking tools can be fully integrated into the IT infrastructure and business process workflow.

For More Information

Get the report  The evolving role of IT managers and CIOs Findings from the 2010 IBM Global IT Risk Study

Browse for more related information at the IBM Smarter Security & Resilience website.

Successful Social Media Marketing Requires A Dedicated Community Leader

The social media marketing trend is an important trend for businesses of all sizes.  Business leaders and marketing managers are realizing it can be used to help strengthen relationships and perceptions people have with a company, a brand, a product.

Most social media marketing efforts today need to apply the basics of community marketing and management.  Because at the heart of it, social media marketing efforts should be launched to strengthen relationships the target audience has with the topics and people that are important to your company’s success.  A successful community can accomplish that and more.

91955 I see many social media and community marketing efforts fail because of lack of funding for community management resources.  Many of these social sites and community efforts are developed to support a product launch and then a few months down the road the blog posts dwindle to a few posts a month, the tweets slow down, and the conversation stops.

To be highly successful, communities need to be funded for and supported by dedicated professionals fulfilling certain functions. There are four key functions that can help result in a successful community.

  • Exec Sponsor(s): Serves as the group’s champion, internally and externally. Is able to envision the value of the community over time to both the members as well as the organization.
  • Community Leader(s): Plays the most critical role in the community's success by energizing the sharing process and providing continuous nourishment for the community. Communicates a sense of passion and guides the community towards its goals through consulting, connecting, facilitating, helping, guiding
  • Community Council Members: Advises community leader in launching and sustaining the community. Frequently takes on additional roles as listed below.
  • Community Members: Without these there is no community; the essence of a community is its members. Contributes and extracts value via content, programs, and social/professional network

The community leadership is the most important function. My experience tells me that many in management think that communities 'can run themselves' without dedicated community leadership. Without dedicated community leadership, communities are subject to the momentary whims of the members, relying on the members’ discretionary willingness to perform such functions. In most cases, leaving the community to the membership results in a decline in activity. It is a rare community that can continue to survive without dedicated support.

Forrester says that there are four key tenets of a community leader: 

  • Community Advocate:  The community manager’s primary role is to represent the members of the community. They must listen, monitor, and respond to requests and conversations, both within the community platform and in email.
  • Brand Evangelist:  Community manager promotes events, products, and upgrades using traditional marketing tactics as well as being part of conversations within the community. The community manager must first earn and maintain trust.
  • Facilitator:  Defines, plans, and executes content strategy. Uses forums, blogs, podcasts, and other tools to create content. Mediates disputes: Encourages advocates and deals with — or when necessary removes — detractors. Works with corporate stakeholders to identify content, plan updates, publish, and follow-up.
  • Research and Development Contributor:  Gathers the requirements of the community and presents to product teams. Plans and analyzes results of surveys or focus groups. Facilitates relationships between product teams and customers.

To Forrester's list I'd add the following tasks that many community leaders end up performing themselves:

  • Social Media Manager:  Manages the communities presence in the social media and collaboration sites
  • Meeting Facilitation:  Schedules and facilitates meetings. Ensures meetings stay focused on goals of the community.
  • Subject Matter Expertise:  Shares knowledge and experience.  Ensures the community continues to seek out new and innovative solutions and methods.
  • Relationship Management:  Builds relationships between the members to strengthen the overall community.
  • Knowledge Management:  Gathers, posts and organizes the community knowledge.  Ensures all members have access to content created or referenced by the community.
  • Analyst:  Analyzes the community content and membership network to identify and extract value.
  • Technology Management:  Ensures that the community platform and tools supports the goals and objectives of the community.

These responsibilities do not have to be managed by a single individual. Many times there is more than one community leader.  Also, a good community leader has a good group of council members and one or more of the council members may be accountable for multiple responsibilities, which is likely in the early stages of community development.

So what type of skills are needed by the Community Leader? 

  • Strong online communication skills
  • Approachable and conversational
  • Has the ability to relate to members online and offline
  • Comfortable with Web 2.0, social media, and collaboration tools

Two other important requirements.    The community leader must 

  1. Have a passion for the community domain (topic area)
  2. Have a passion for helping others learn and collaborate. They must experience job satisfaction from helping others.

InfoBoom: How Can CIOs Leverage Social Computing?

InfoBoom Mar16 This week I have authored the featured article on The InfoBOOM! community site (www.theinfoboom.com).  The article is written for CIOs, CTOs, and IT Leaders who have yet to get involved in the social media or who are wondering how to implement social computing solutions. 

If you know of any IT leaders, you may want to point them to the article.  It will be interesting to hear from CIOs what their challenges are with this disruptive trend.

About The Article

The article, Opening the Social Computing Door, provides some guidance for CIOs and IT leaders on how they can start leveraging social computing in their careers and for the enterprises they serve.  There is much work to do.  My research has shown that there are a relatively few number of CIOs that are truly demonstrating leadership in the social media today.

I break the article up into four sections

  1. Participating in Conversations
  2. Gaining Business Leverage
  3. Getting Smarter
  4. Jumping In

I provide links to research I’ve done that shed some like on what leading CIOs are doing in the social media and how it can be leveraged in the enterprise environment.   It’s my hope the article helps CIOs and IT leaders get started.  I’d be interested in any feedback you may have. 

About InfoBOOM!

The InfoBOOM! community has been developed via a partnership between CIO.com and IBM.  The site is about a year old and is an online community environment that fosters the free exchange of ideas among experts, midmarket CIOs and technology leaders.   The focus is on giving IT leaders at small and mid-sized firms the insights and perspectives they need on vital issues.  Each week, a new expert is featured and an article is written by that expert that provides a point of view on an important topic.  Then, Jim Malone, Senior Editorial Director a CIO.com authors a complementary or contrarian view.   As a result of the two articles, important discussion and collaboration happens each week on the selected topic.   Thus each week InfoBOOM! fosters open dialogue and contrary points of view between the editor, experts and members.  I encourage you to check out the site at http://www.theinfoboom.com

Top 50 CIO and IT Leaders in the Social Media


Top 50 CIO and IT Leaders in the Social Media

Yesterday my post here was titled 2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media.  In that post I provided the results of some research I did to understand if CIOs and IT Leaders who had received Industry related awards in 2009 were participating in the social media.  I found that those award winners I did research on had not embraced the social media trend.

Today, I provide the other end of the spectrum:  The Top 50 CIO and IT Leaders in the Social Media. 

For this post, I set out to find those practicing CIOs, CTOs, and IT Leaders who have embraced the social media with passion.  I scoured the Net to find CIO’s that are blogging and tweeting about issues and events that are important to CIOs and the IT industry in general.  These are the CIOs that are actively creating and participating in discussions in the social media.  They are sharing their experiences and ideas in the public Internet, instead of holding these experiences and ideas to themselves.

In addition to the blogging and tweeting, I was also interested in finding CIOs that were actively building their LinkedIn profile and connecting with others through LinkedIn.  

I found about 65 CIOs during my research.  I then developed a ranking system by scoring CIOs on a number of criteria, including the currency and frequency of their blog posts, the richness of their LinkedIn profile, and their participation on Twitter.  A quick sort by the total score and I have a list of the top 50 as displayed below.

Some stats from the list of 50.

  • 80% of those on the list are blogging on a public website.
  • 92% are actively using Twitter
  • 96% have a LinkedIn profile
  • 66% are on Facebook (note:  Facebook usage did not enter into my scoring and ranking system)

So here is the list of the top 50 CIO and IT Leaders I came up with.  I’ve provided links to their Blogs, their Twitter IDs, and their LinkedIn Profiles.  I encourage you to explore those links and learn from their posts and tweets.  More importantly, I encourage you to  participate in the discussions they are having by commenting on their blogs and responding to their tweets.  Perhaps they will even inspire you to start blogging or tweeting your ideas and thoughts about the important issues facing CIOs today.

Top 50 CIO and IT Leaders in Social Media

   

Name

Title/Industry/Social Sites

1

John Moore

CTO, and SVP of Engineering at Swimfish

Industry:  Technology  

LinkedIn:  John Moore

Blog:  John Moore's Weblog

Twitter: JohnFMoore

2

Phil Windley, Ph.D

CTO, Kynetx

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Phil Windley

Blog:  Windley’s Techometria

Twitter: windley

3

Bob Gourley

CTO and founder of Crucial Point LLC

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Bob Gourley

Blog:  CTOvision.com

Twitter: bobgourley

3

Andy Blumenthal

CTO, Bureau of ATF

Industry:  Government

LinkedIn:  Andy Blumenthal

Blog:  Andy Blumenthal

Twitter: totalcio

5

John Halamka, MD

CIO, Harvard

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  John Halamka

Blog:  Healthcare CIO

Twitter: jhalamka

6

Chuck Musciano

CIO at Martin Marietta Materials

Industry:  Manufacturing/Aerospace

LinkedIn:  Chuck Musciano

Blog:  The Effective CIO

Twitter: EffectiveCIO

6

Werner Vogels

CTO, Amazon.com

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Werner Vogels

Blog:  All Things Distributed

Twitter: werner

6

Andrew Hoppin

CIO, New York State Senate

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Andrew Hoppin

Blog:  globehoppin

Twitter: ahoppin

9

Padmasree Warrior

CTO, Cisco

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  n/a

Blog: 
CiscoCTO Blog

Twitter: Padmasree

9

Shawn Riley

CTO, Austin Med. Cntr., Mayo Clinic Health System

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Shawn Riley

Blog:  HealthTechnica

Twitter: rilescat

11

Mark Cummuta

CIO @JobAngels

Industry:  Consumer Services

LinkedIn:  Mark Cummuta

Blog:  CIO Job Search

Twitter: TriumphCIO

11

Dave Fletcher

CIO, State of Utah

Industry:  Government

LinkedIn:  Dave Fletcher

Blog:  Dave Fletcher's Gov. and Tech. Weblog

Twitter: dfletcher

11

John David Son

CIO, Marshall County School District

Industry:  Education

LinkedIn:  John Son

Blog:  CIO Corner

Twitter: JDSCIO

11

Isaac Sacolick

VP, Technology, McGraw-Hill

Industry:  Media

LinkedIn:  Isaac Sacolick

Blog:  Social, Agile, & Transformation

Twitter: nyike

15

Steve Francia

CIO, Portero

Industry:  Retail

LinkedIn:  Steve Francia

Blog:  spf13

Twitter: spf13

15

Tony Maro

CIO for EvriChart

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Tony Maro

Blog:  OssRamblings.com

Twitter: tonymaro

15

Mark A. Silver

CIO, Health Svcs Div., Siemens Healthcare USA

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Mark A. Silver

Blog:  Social Media and Business Insights    
Twitter:
MarkSilver

15

Jim Haughwout

CIO, Neighborhood America (Florida)

Industry:  Consumer Services

LinkedIn:  Jim Haughwout

Blog:  Ex·se·cu·tus

Twitter: JHaughwout

19

Brian Blanchard

Chairman at St. Louis Innovation Camp

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Brian Blanchard

Blog:  Dev Revival

Twitter: BrianBlanchard

19

Chuck Hollis

VP and CTO of Marketing, EMC

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  n/a

Blog: 
Chuck's blog

Twitter: chuckhollis

19

Hubert Vaudaux

CTO at FBA (www.groupefb.fr)

Industry:  Financial

LinkedIn:  Hubert Vaudaux

Blog:  HVaudaux Le Blog 
Twitter:
hvaudaux

19

Bill Schrier

CTO, City of Seattle

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Bill Schrier

Blog:  The Chief Seattle Geek Blog

Twitter: billschrier

23

Casey Coleman

CIO, U.S. General Services Administration

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Casey Coleman

Blog:  Around the Corner

Twitter: caseycoleman

23

Linda Cureton

CIO, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Linda Cureton

Blog:  Goddard-CIO-Blog

Twitter: Curetonl

23

Mike Schaffner

Dir. IT, Cameron

Industry:  Oil & Gas

LinkedIn:  Mike Schaffner

Blog:  Beyond Blinking Lights and Acronyms

Twitter: MikeSchaffner

26

John McMillen

CIO, Graves County Schools in Mayfield, KY, USA

Industry:    Education

LinkedIn:  John D McMillen

Blog:  Techucation

Twitter: ujdmc

26

Peter Kretzman

CIO/CTO

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Peter Kretzman

Blog:  CTO/CIO Perspectives

Twitter: PeterKretzman

26

Nigel Fortlage

VP, IT at GHY International

Industry:  Financial

LinkedIn:  Nigel Fortlage

Blog:  My Thoughts

Twitter: nfortlage

26

Arun Manansingh

CIO, FusionLatina, LLC

Industry:  Media

LinkedIn:  Arun Manansingh

Blog:  A CiO’s Voice

Twitter: solus72

30

Colin Osburn

CIO at Intelligentz Corporation

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Colin Osburn

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
colinosburn

30

Will Weider

CIO, Affinity Health System

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Will Weider

Blog:  Candid CIO

Twitter: CandidCIO

32

Lev Gonick

VP, IT Services, Case Western Reserve Univ.

Industry:    Education

LinkedIn:  Lev Gonick

Blog:  Bytes From Lev

Twitter: lgonick

32

Ian Cohen

CIO, Jardine Lloyd Thompson plc

Industry:  Financial

LinkedIn:  Ian Cohen

Blog:  The Accidental CIO

Twitter: coe62

34

Paul Cheesbrough

CIO, Telegraph Media Group

Industry:  Media

LinkedIn:  Paul Cheesbrough

Blog:  Paul Cheesbrough

Twitter: paulcheesbrough

34

Stephen Gillett

CIO & GM of Digital Ventures, Starbucks

Industry:  Retail

LinkedIn:  Stephen Gillett

Blog:  The Guild CIO

Twitter: @stephengillett

36

Eric Egnet

CIO, Vitalize Consuilting Solutions

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Eric Egnet

Blog:  In The Know CIO

Twitter: InTheKnowCIO

36

Omri Tintpulver

CIO, Brunico Communications

Industry:  Media

LinkedIn: Omri Tintpulver

Blog:  Omri Tintpulver

Twitter: omri

36

John Suffolk

CIO, UK government

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  John Suffolk

Blog:  John Suffolk – Government CIO

Twitter: GovCIO

39

Chris Marsh

CIO, Aviacode

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  Chris Marsh

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
theChrisMarsh

39

Katherine Coomb

CIO, Morrison Facilities Services

Industry:  Services

LinkedIn:  Katherine Coomb

Blog:  Banking on IT

Twitter: kat_woman

41

Vivek Kundra

CIO, US government

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Vivek Kundra

Blog:  IT Dashboard

Twitter: VivekKundra

41

Dr. Andy Chun

CIO, City University of Hong Kong

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Andy Chun

Blog:  CIO's Blog

Twitter: CityUCIO

41

Eachan Fletcher

CIO, Sporting Index

Industry:  Leisure

LinkedIn:  Eachan Fletcher

Blog:  The Fletcher Project

Twitter: n/a

44

Victor Fetter

Global VP, Dell

Industry:  Technology

LinkedIn:  Victor Fetter

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
vpfetter

44

Peter Birley

IT Dir., Brown Jacobson, LLP

Industry:  Legal

LinkedIn:  Peter Birley

Blog:  CIO blog

Twitter: birlep

44

Robert Carey

CIO, U.S. Navy

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  n/a

Blog: 
doncio

Twitter: n/a

47

Janet Claggett

CIO, Richland County, S.C.

Industry:  Government

LinkedIn:  Janet Claggett

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
cio007

48

Steve Mannina

CIO Cook County Treasure's office

Industry:    Government

LinkedIn:  Steve Mannina

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
smannina

48

Scott Lowe

CIO, Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.)

Industry:    Education

LinkedIn:  Scott Lowe

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
scottdlowe

48

R. Todd Thomas

CIO, Austin Radiological Association

Industry:  Healthcare

LinkedIn:  R. Todd Thomas

Blog:  n/a

Twitter:
thomast360

As you look through the list, you will see that there are more than a fair share of CIOs from Healthcare & Government on the list.  I’m not sure why, but that could be a question for further research.

2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media

CO261 I’ve been doing some research to support an article I am writing for an upcoming post to InfoBOOM on the topic of CIOs and the Social Media.   My article will provide some thoughts on what CIOs should be doing this year to begin to leverage the social computing trend.  That article will appear on InfoBOOM in mid March.

One of the things I was curious to find out was whether or not CIOs were embracing the public side of the social media trend.  I wanted to see if I could find evidence of CIOs, CTOs, and IT leaders who were participating in the public social networks.  Are there CIOs out there that are actively engaging in conversations and providing though leadership on topics that are important to CIOs?   So far I have found about 50 of them that are blogging, tweeting, and connecting on social sites. I will post that list in the next day or two as I finish my research, so watch for that post.

As I did this research, I decided to take a look at some of the CIO and IT leaders who received awards in 2009 to see if they had embraced the public side of social media. Every year, there are a number of organizations that hand out awards to top CIOs and IT leaders, each with slightly different criteria.  The question I was asking was were these award winners actively participating in the public discussions on topics that are important to CIOs and IT Leaders? 

So I picked two 2009 award lists and researched the award winners on each list.

  1. The CIO Leadership Network’s 2009 Top 10 Leaders & Change Agents Award honored CIOs and senior IT executives “whose innovative responses to changing business needs have provided outstanding leadership in global IT management and have brought demonstrable business benefit to their organizations”.  
  2. The CIO.com 2009 Ones to Watch Awards honored 25 “rising stars in IT—the senior staff destined to become the CIOs of the future—as identified and sponsored by the CIOs of today's leading organizations”.

I performed online searches of the 35 award winners to see if I could find evidence that they were participating in the public social media.  I looked for evidence that they were blogging, tweeting, commenting, or otherwise posting content that was being consumed in the social media. 

Of the 35 award winners, I could find no evidence that anyone was blogging or commenting on others blogs.  Only two of these award winners have Twitter IDs and both of them are not actively using Twitter.  It was encouraging to find that 29 out of the 35 did have profiles set up on LinkedIn, however, most of those profiles were lacking content.   I found less than half of them were on Facebook.

While I understand that blogging and tweeting might not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, I would have hoped I would find more of these award winners actively participating online and adding their voice to public conversations happening about subjects important to the IT industry.  There’s so much we could be learning from these award winners…and so much they could be learning as well. 

The social computing trend is a very significant trend that is quickly crossing over from the consumer market to enterprises.  Our future CIOs and IT leaders need to be embracing the social computing trend in order to understand it’s impact on business processes and the potential value it can bring to the enterprise. 

I’d like to see a higher percentage of these award winners experimenting with social media and sharing their thoughts on the future of the IT industry and the role of the CIO.

Leveraging Social Media: 12 Steps To Develop Your Personal Online Brand

12 steps to manage your personal online brand Do you have a plan on how to leverage the social media trend in order to achieve your career objectives?

Are you taking part in the online conversations that are happening on the topics that are important to you and the development of your career?  Or are you on the sidelines when it comes to participating in online communities, social networks, etc?   

If you are not part of the conversations that are important to your career, you can’t learn from those conversations.  Nor can you influence those conversations.  And in the future when potential employers look online to see if you have participated, they will not see you.

You are responsible for how you are perceived online. If you are not managing your online brand, then it is being shaped for you (perhaps by those pictures your friends are posting on Facebook).  

The following 12 steps can help you take control of your online personal brand.

  1. Document Your Career Goals.  Have a balance of short term and long term goals.  For each goal, think about how participating in online communities and social networks could help you achieve those goals. 
  2. Document Your Top 4-5 Career Related Topics.   These are the most important topic domains that you need to master in order to become an authoritative source of information a subject matter expert for the duration of your career.   Think about the topics that you can remain passionate about for a long time.
  3. Analyze Your Existing Social Network And Online Presence. How does your current social network and online presence align with your documented goals?  How can you build stronger ties and increase your ability to learn? 
  4. Master The Online Productivity Tools.  You need to have a good foundation in order to maximize your ability to collaborate online.  These new social tools can help your collaboration efforts be more productive.  Spend time educating yourself on how to use Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. 
  5. Research / Collect Information.  Learn where the online sources are for information related to your 4-5 main career topics.  Visit these sites often.  Collect and maintain a master folder of documents, resources, Web links, etc., which have been helpful to you.  You will want this for step 11 below.
  6. Document Where The Buzz Is Online.  Check out my social-search bookmarks on delicious and learn how to search the social media.  Search on each of your 4-5 career topics you listed in step 2 above.  Document where the online conversations are happening for those topics.   Document who are the most influential online people.  Find out where those influential people are hanging out online.  Maintain a list of URLs (suggest you book them on delicious).
  7. Join Online Communities.  For the topics that are important to your career goals, join the most active online communities, groups, and networks.  Connect with and then ask members where else they connect with like-minded people.
  8. Move Your Conversations Online.  For the topics that are important to your career goals, cut down on email conversations and increase your online conversations in those places you’ve identified above.
  9. Manage Your Personal Online Brand.  Take control of your virtual online presence.   Establish and keep all your profile(s) updated.  Make sure that when people look for you online…which they will…information about you is current and accurate.  Your effort here is all about helping you achieve the goals documented in step 1 above.
  10. Connect With The Community Champions.  ‘Friend’ the most active people in the online communities that are important to your career objectives.  Connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter.   Follow their blogs, tweets, and community posts.  Post replies to their blogs and retweet their Tweets.  Share insights with them and point them to your online content.
  11. Share Your Knowledge Wealth.  For the communities you have joined, increase your online conversations.  Post comments in discussion forums and on blog posts.  Share your bookmarks.  Share the insights and opinions you’ve formed as a result of your efforts in documenting where the online buzz is.  Save time by organizing your centralizing all of your thoughts on each topic area into document templates with URL links to those sites, blog posts, etc., that you feel are the most important.
  12. Establish Yourself As An On-line Authority.  Establish and maintain a presence on all sites where your 4-5 career topics are being discussed.  Be a visible and active participant in the most important communities.  For the topics that matter most to your career, establish your own online site/blogs/communities.  Link to other authoritative blogs and communities often and continue sharing your insights and opinions on those sites as well as developing your own site.

Don’t sit idle on the sidelines. Take responsibility for your future and get involved in the online conversations happening about the topics you are passionate about.  You have important ideas to share with the rest of us.  We will all learn from your experience, thoughts, and content.

Gartner: Five Social Collaboration Software Predictions

Gartner - Social Software 2010 Earlier this week, Gartner released a report “Predicts 2010: Social Software Is an Enterprise Reality” in which the analyst firm provides some predictions on what is in store for social collaboration software in 2010 and the years ahead.   Increasingly, businesses are finding that applications like Twitter and Facebook can provide value.  That is translating into increased adoption of social collaboration platforms by enterprises of all sizes.

Here’s my summary of 5 predictions Gartner offers in the report:

  1. Bye Bye Email?:   Gartner says social networking will prove to be a more productive tool for many types of communications.  Gartner’s prediction:  By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users. 
  2. Internal Microblogging Efforts Fail:   The scale of Twitter is so large, enterprise users will find it more valuable than internal microblogging platforms.  Gartner’s prediction: By 2012, over 50 percent of enterprises will use activity streams that include microblogging, but stand-alone enterprise microblogging will have less than 5 percent penetration.
  3. IT-Led Social Media Projects Fail:   Gartner says that IT departments just don’t have the skill set to design and deliver an social media solution.  Gartner’s prediction:  Through 2012, over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail, while only 50% of business-led initiatives will fail. 
  4. Mobile Apps To Influence Desktop Apps:  Gartner says that IT departments will learn new ways of developing apps for SmartPhones and be able to use that knowledge to design better apps for desktops.  Gartner’s prediction:  Within five years, 70 percent of collaboration and communications applications designed on PCs will be modeled after user experience lessons from smartphone collaboration applications.  
  5. Enterprises Slow To Adopt Social Network Analysis:  Gartner says SNA tools will remain an untapped source of insight in most organizations.  Gartner’s prediction:  Through 2015, only 25 percent of enterprises will routinely utilize social network analysis to improve performance and productivity.

Much more information can be found in the report “Predicts 2010: Social Software Is an Enterprise Reality” or, if you don’t have access, check out the summary in the press release, Gartner Reveals Five Social Software Predictions for 2010 and Beyond

VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010

venturebeat_logo There was an article published at the end of December that I thought those in interested in the venture capital trends for 2010 might want to read.  The article appeared on the VentureBeat site and was written by two partners at Grotech Ventures.  It caught my eye as it discussed where money might be flowing in 2010.

A quick summary of the article:

  • Social Media.  The authors say that social media will be a hot sector.  While there are still many questions about how to monetize the conversational and real-time nature of social media, the authors expects social media to move towards profitability in 2010.
  • Cloud Computing.  The authors expect money to continue to flow to the cloud in 2010.  The financial value of cost savings, infrastructure savings and productivity enhancement will drive continued investment. 
  • Prosumer Technologies.  The authors say this space will fizzle in 2010 and we will see a re-separation of consumer and professional devices, having a trickle-down effect on the ecosystems of startup companies developing for the iPhone, Droid, and other platforms.   It’s interesting to read this view as Deloitte recently came out with their 2010 Technology Predictions (Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010), and one of those predictions was that the Prosumer trend will continue to be hot and cause disruption for IT departments.
  • Freemium Model.   The authors say that start-ups should understand that the gap between free and paying customers is widening. As customer attention spans shorten, their brand loyalty diminishes as well.  Users tend to move move on to the next trendy, free offering.  This will put pressure on providers to innovate at an incredibly rapid pace in order to keep pace with market demand.  For more on the freemium business model, see Wikipedia’s article on Freemium.

Check out the full article at VentureBeat “Venture Capital 2010:  Hot (and cold) sectors to watch”.

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

Deloitte: Seven Telecommunications Predictions for 2010

Deloitte 2010 Telcom Predictions My last two posts provided a summary of technology predictions and media predictions from Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry group.  In this post I will provide a summary of Deloitte’s predictions for the Telecommunications Industry.

The topics covered in this year's report include the growing importance of mobile search for smartphones, changes in network technologies and pricing plans to cope with the explosion of data, and changes in the scale of wireless contracts both in terms of up-time and duration.

Here’s my summary of Deloitte’s telecommunications predictions for 2010

  1. The smartphone becomes a search-phone.  Mobile search will most certainly become one of the hottest mobile apps and it will be a critical part of any future mobile platform.  The next few years will be exciting and first mover advantage will be critical.
  2. Mobile VoIP becomes a social network.  Deloitte says that 2010 could be an inflection year for mobile VoIP.   However, I won’t be holding my breath.  I think its still a few years away….but I do agree it will be driven by Facebook (and perhaps Twitter) users.
  3. Widening the bottleneck. Telecom technology helps decongest the mobile network.  Deloitte says technologies that help speed up wireless networks should experience healthy growth in 2010.  With all the millions of devices accessing networks, there’s bound to be congestion problems.
  4. Paying for what we eat. Carriers change data pricing and make regulators happy.  Similar to trends we are seeing in highway congestion charging, Deloitte says to expect carriers to start billing customers based on how much data they use, when they use it, and also what kind of data is being used.
  5. Nixing the nines:  reliability redefined and reassessed.  Deloitte says since enterprises are exploring ways to save money, they will begin to tolerate lower service levels on non-priority services and applications.
  6. Contract 2.0: long-term solutions shorten and multiply.  Deloitte says that while demand for telco solutions will increase, the continued enterprise focus on cost savings will drive shorter contract terms.
  7. The line goes leaner. And greener.   Expect a focus by the telecommunications industry on reducing C02 emissions, with the main driver for that focus being cost savings (rather than a desire to improve the environment).

For more information and detail, check out the 28 page report Deloitte 2010 Global Telecommunications Predictions or you could also listen to the Deloitte Telecommunications Predictions podcast

Gartner: Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond

gartner logo Gartner recently released a report titled Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond. 

"As organizations make plans to navigate the economic recovery and prepare for the return to growth, our predictions for 2010 focus on the impact of critical changes in the balance of control and power in IT.  With greater financial and regulatory oversight for all IT investment decisions, few organizations will be unaffected." – Brian Gammage, vice president and research fellow at Gartner.

Here’s a summary of the predictions contained in the report

  • Reduction in hardware requirements: By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets.
  • India as a major player in the IT Services Industry:  By 2012, India-centric IT services companies will represent 20 percent of the leading cloud aggregators in the market (through cloud service offerings).
  • Social Networking:   By 2012, Facebook will become the hub for social network integration and Web socialization.
  • Sustainability & Carbon Accounting trend:  By 2014, most IT business cases will include carbon remediation costs.
  • Sustainability & Greener PCs:   In 2012, 60 percent of a new PC's total life greenhouse gas emissions will have occurred before the user first turns the machine on.
  • Internet Marketing Regulation:  Internet marketing will be regulated by 2015, controlling more than $250 billion in Internet marketing spending worldwide.
  • Growth of the Mobile Internet:  By 2014, over 3 billion of the world's adult population will be able to transact electronically via mobile or Internet technology.
  • Context Will Be Key To The Mobile Consumer’s Experience:  By 2015, context will be as influential to mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the Web.
  • Mobile Phones Will Dominate:  By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide.

For more information:

The Boom In Niche Social Networks

There appears to be a growing trend in the social networking industry. Marketers appear to be targeting site’s with smaller, niche memberships more so now than ever before.  051

According to eMarketer, during 2008 advertisers spent $920M on advertising within social networks.  Of that $920M, eMarketer says 8.2 percent went to niche social networks.  In 2009, this year it is estimated that spending will increase to $2.1 billion, and the take for smaller networks will rise to 10%.

To me this trend towards niche social networks mirrors the explosion in niche magazines that we saw the last 20-30 years.  You can buy magazines on almost any type of topic today and the reason you can is that advertisers like to be able to reach very unique targeted market segments.

My thought is that if you wanted to sell a $250,000 Rolex watch instead of advertising on a general Facebook page, it would probably be better to advertise on a social networking site like  ASmallWorld.  ASmallWorld is a niche social network with a membership of around 300,000 wealthy individuals.

Here’s some examples of niche social networks.

  • 85 Broads  -  Career women who attended a select list of leading universities
  • ArtBreak  – artist community for sharing and selling artwork.
  • ASmallWorld – By invitation only, for celebrities and the business elite
  • BeGreen – a community that aims to generate environmental awareness for users.
  • beRecruited – a dedicated online community for sportpersons and coaches.
  • Blackplanet – connections between African Americans
  • BottleTalk –  a wine lover’s community
  • Blogtronix – promotes corporate social networking, enterprise 2.0 and wikis.
  • CafeMom – networking site for mothers
  • CarGurus – An automobile community website
  • Change – a nonprofit social networking website
  • ChangingThePresent – A nonprofit fund raising community
  • CompanyLoop – An online co-working community for global businesses.
  • Decorati – An interior designer community enabling users to post items for sale and for exchange.
  • Dogster   For dog lovers everywhere
  • DoMyStuff – for working professionals looking to find online assistants.
  • Doostang – An invite only career community for professionals.
  • Fast Pitch – for entrepreneurs who want to market their business.
  • Gaia  For the socially conscious crowd
  • GLEE.com   For the gay and lesbian community
  • iKarma Inc. – providing customer feedback for organizations and professionals.
  • ImageKind – for professional artists.
  • Jambo – connect with your neighborhood friends.
  • Lawyrs – A professional social networking community for lawyers.
  • mediabistro.com – for professionals in content or creative industry.
  • MilitaryPlanet  – For members of the military
  • MyCatSpace – for lovers of cats
  • MyDogSpace – for lovers of dogs
  • New England Venture Network— Social networking for venture capitalists
  • Pairup.com – connects business travelers assisting them to travel together.
  • Shelfari – A site for book lovers and authors
  • ShoutLife – A Christian social network
  • Uniteddogs – Another side for dog owners.
  • Ultrafan  For sports fans
  • vSocial – a video based social networking platform

This is just a sample.  The environment is like the Wild West where these networks are popping up everywhere.  Some will stick, others will fail.  The ones that stick could eventually be winners in grabbing future niche advertising dollars.  As I mentioned above, if I was a niche magazine publisher today, I would be building and promoting a social networking platform for the readers of my magazine.