by December 18th, 2013on
IBM has an interesting white paper out discussing Social Business Patterns. Before I highlight the white paper, I would like to briefly explain what a pattern is, and why they are useful. The Cambridge Dictionary defines a pattern as: “a particular way in which something usually happens or is done”, and so a “business pattern” may be defined as a common approach to addressing a recurring business problem.
IBM’s Social Business Patterns aim to represent a “repeatable, proven set of value-producing actions” as applied to using social tools, media and practices into the ongoing activities of an organization. Organizations typically begin by applying just one pattern, but over time adopt multiple patterns as benefits accrue over time. IBM’s Institute of Business Value says: “The question surrounding social media today is not whether you are doing it, but whether you are doing enough. Are your social activities driving revenue, attracting talent and bridging the collaboration gaps in your organization? Is your use of social media allowing your organization to engage with the right customers, improve their online experience and tap into their latest insights and ideas? Does your social approach provide your customer-facing representatives with the ability to search the globe for expertise or apply learnings?” These are the types of questions that the Social Business Patterns can help address.
Companies at the forefront of social communication are doing more than developing a presence on major platforms. They are taking their external social tools and technologies and embedding them into core business processes and capabilities. They are using social approaches not only to communicate better with their customers, but also to share knowledge with their suppliers, business partners and, perhaps most important, their employees. In short, they are rapidly progressing to a larger, more substantive transformation in how they work called social business.
Applying the patterns, involves a three step process,
- Develop social tools and methods to create consistent and valued customer experiences
- Embed social capabilities to drive workforce productivity and effectiveness
- Use social approaches to accelerate innovation
Naturally these patterns don’t apply only to IBM technologies, but may be put to good use on any number of implementations. Including other Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders, such as Jive and Chatter (to some extent), SharePoint and Yammer, and of course IBM Connections and related offerings.
P.S. An interesting aside, Social Business, as defined by Mohammad Yunus, has become somewhat less altruistic, but certainly more far reaching. It does enable both non-profit and for-profit enterprises to better engage with more of their stakeholders across an ever widening array of channels.