Most businesses are failing in their social collaboration initiatives because they lack a clear purpose, according to a new report by Gartner.
In a poll of 1,000 organisations, Gartner found that social technologies were employed by 70 percent of firms. However, for 90 percent of the organisations these technologies had not lived up to their expectations.
"The underlying reason is usually that the organisation did not provide a compelling cause around which a community could form and be motivated to provide their time and knowledge. In other words, purpose was lacking," said Gartner vice president Anthony Bradley.
"A well-defined purpose identifies who the participants are, what specific issue they are collaborating around, what value they will gain for themselves, and what value will be provided to the organisation."
Bradley said social collaboration strategies with a good purpose will naturally motivate people to participate and users will easily grasp their importance. Conversely, businesses that are at apins to force social functions on users are likely to fail.
Additionally, Bradley added, communities should easily develop around the social strategy, with the employees contributing far more content than their supporting enterprise.
Those social strategies with a strong purpose will have clear business outcome where the value of staff participation can be clearly measured and shared with the community as feedback and motivation, continued Bradley.
The strategy will carry low risk to the organisation, and users will not be encouraged to share sensitive information in the networks, he continued. Bradley advised businesses to make use of enterprise architects when forming social media strategies.
"Social collaboration efforts are a challenge for which enterprise architects are well suited, as these practitioners are often cross-disciplinary," he said.
"They are able to work with social initiative leaders to define community purposes and condense these purposes into a strategy or road map which they can use to guide project teams during implementation."
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