Social-driven IT Takes Hold

Social-driven media increasingly touches every corner of the enterprise, including IT. But it’s more than a business-to-consumer communication channel. It’s also a powerful tool for interacting with employees and partners.

Unfortunately, most organizations have yet to catch up to this reality and almost none are taking full advantage of it, according to a recently released report, Accenture Technology Vision 2012: Emerging Technology Trends for IT Leaders. Despite social media becoming a standard marketing tool for the enterprise, few organizations are using these tools to interact across all communications channels.

Kevin Campbell, group chief executive of the Accenture Technology growth platform, points out that there’s an enormous opportunity “to capture, measure, analyze, and exploit these social interactions in new ways. It means that social media must be seen as much more than a new “bolt on” channel; it has to be viewed as a catalyst for revisiting everything that touches a company.”

IT cannot avoid social media and it should be viewed as a serious business tool rather than a passing trend, he adds. Among other things, IT should become an active user of different social media services; introduce a social “listening” process to better understand how others are talking about the company; identify best practices and early adoption success stories; and establish a dialog with other business units about how to use social media effectively.

Campbell says that it’s critical to appoint a tech-savvy champion who can grasp new interaction models. A best practice approach is to establish a core IT team to design and pilot cross-functional social media platforms. This team works with business units to integrate and layer initiatives, and identify core metrics for tracking success.

In the end, companies that take social media seriously offer better products and services, Accenture says. It’s not a question of whether IT will be involved in social media, Campbell and Gavin Michael, Accenture’s chief technology innovation officer argue. It’s a matter of how IT will be involved.