Web 2.0 Tools: Streamline and StandarizeBy Elizabeth Millard | Posted 2008-10-16 Print
Finding real productivity with social networking activities like microblogging is a challenge, and likely to get even more difficult, as new technology enters the marketplace. But there are a few enterprise strategies for making the most of the collaborative social tools.
Streamline and Standardize
To create a more cohesive social networking framework, Brown suggests limiting the number of applications that are in the enterprise. Not only will this create fewer headaches for IT, which has to secure the data and networks, but it also allows for faster communication.
For instance, an employee doesn't have to jump from one application that houses the employee directory to another that's used for microblogging. Finding one that has all relevant features, and training people to use it, is similar to streamlining the number of applications used in standard business operations.
Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done, Brown notes: "Particularly at larger companies, it may be difficult to bring it down to one platform, because these tools crop up in different departments, and then spread organically. You may not be able to use just one platform, but as long as you're getting employee needs met and their questions answered, that's a good start."
Get Executive Buy-in
If only the technophiles are microblogging, it doesn't create the kind of productivity gains that can come from everyone at a company being linked together.
Brown notes that when she used to work at Cisco, the company's comprehensive intranet was where employees would go when they had a question, since everyone was connected. The same is true now of full-featured tools, she adds.
"With social media applications, you just have access to people with more expertise," she says.
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