ENTREPRISES & STRATÉGIES — Technologies

ICT & Innovation

“Collective intelligence”



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Sylvain Cottong (Strategybuilders) (Photo : Olivier Minaire)

New tools bring new perspectives. Most of them are IT-related… This is the rising challenge for companies: managing to adopt them swiftly and efficiently.

Social software implementation: how far along companies? Have they already understood all the tools or are they still “thinking about it”?

“Social software is still at an early adoption stage and only the most innovative companies have strategically implemented them on a larger scale. But their returns of experience so far are very promising and most analysts predict a massive adoption of social technologies at an enterprise level in the next five years. The main advantages of social technologies are quite obvious: unleashing collective intelligence, employee empowerment, talent attraction amongst the digital natives, more seamless connection to customers and partners, open innovation, reducing information overload, positive feedback loops for active employees, intrinsic knowledge management, connecting the right people, etc. But you need to be aware of the cultural challenges of introducing social technologies.

The link between the internal and the external: how is it possible to build a bridge? Is the challenge on technology or on management?

“Well there are always technological challenges, but they are comparatively easy to manage. The main challenges are definitely on management. Interestingly enough, most case studies in social technologies implementations show that the demand and the initiative rather comes from management than from IT, which is not a standard situation.

Linking the outside and the inside of an organisation is amongst the core capabilities of social technologies, but again, it’s a strategic business decision to do so.

For all those reasons, a consistent change management program is necessary to follow social technology introduction at different levels and business functions. And not only social technology introductions, by the way! Any organisational change needs professional change management programmes in order to succeed. Always remember this wise quote: old organisation + new technologies = very expensive old organisation.

Can the IT department be a leader in tranforming Entreprise 1.0 into 2.0?

“IT departments can be a leader in any enterprise transformation processes if they have the right attitude and are capable of recognising and translating strategic business needs into a working technology infrastructure, but interestingly enough, as I just mentioned, social technology initiatives tend to emerge more from senior management that understand the transformations that are happening in management models, business models and market places today and less from IT departments. One of the major reasons might be that management is a social science itself.

Anyway, social technologies are part of the major IT trends of the coming years together with mobile, cloud, consumerization, Internet of Things and Big Data and will definitely continue to transform management models, business models and marketplaces alike.”