As Social Media Today recently detailed, "part of the reason there's been a lag in the adoption of truly effective collaboration at scale inside most organizations is that efforts to date have been largely tool-driven, rather than focused on the why." SAP's newly announced Project Robus seems to be addressing this very concern. Their horizontal approach to bring collaborative processes to any application is admirable. It might not be easy, but it's right.
That project supports the idea that a lot of social business success will come down to strategy versus execution. Companies where people sit in their silos building tools for internal use with deployment only across company-owned devices are dying. Increasingly cross-functional teams need processes to be completely reimagined. The why though is what's important and it can be viewed in several different ways.
Both employees and end-users are well primed for the integration of more fun, intuitive and streamlined technologies to permeate the enterprise. Take Kayak, for example, which went "mobile first" in their design philosophy earlier this year. As GigaOM pointed out, "the overall goal in making the site look more like a mobile app is to shed unnecessary details and simplify." People are familiar with (and arguably seek out) task-specific solutions today and applying that know how to their professional lives will come naturally, quickly and positively.
Social feels good
While not everyone who uses social channels admits it, it feels good when someone follows you, likes your photo on Facebook or views your LinkedIn profile. I like to apply this idea around micro-validations to the professional realm as "paying it forward" can have a real impact on your bottom line. Giving your team members the opportunity to validate one another (and have that seen by peers and bosses) creates a greater spirit of team and the integration of social into the workplace allows for the growth of this practice. At our company we use Yammer and employees feel pride as their posts garner positive feedback that all colleagues can see. It's an easy win that ultimately makes team members more reliable and effective at their jobs.
It should be doable
If you're hearing push back that mobile solutions will cost too much time and money or social integrations will expose your company to unimaginable security risks it's important to seek a second opinion. Much like you wouldn't have surgery based on just one opinion so too should you not declare social and mobile unimportant to your organization based on just one person's view either. There are partners out there who can help you pick the best person or company to execute on your mobile and social strategy to boost selling time, increase productivity and streamline collaboration and data access. Today you can quickly deploy deeply integrated, intuitive solutions for your workforce in hours, not years.
In the end, the why gets at why you want to integrate these new technologies into your employees' workflows. Ultimately it's for your business to do better. Focus on why this evolution is important to you and your organization, believe it to be core to your future existence and seek out trusted partners to execute on your vision. Your people and your customers are ready and waiting.
Follow Chris O'Connor on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NowHearChris