Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Internal Social Computing ... Continued

I have written about internal social computing earlier (with links to other posts I have written on this). You can see how I feel towards this, seeing how much I have written about this. However, a lot of companies are looking at the external, more visible form of social computing. Maybe this is based on the mindset a lot of us have, which is of broadcasting thoughts ... a la tv. There is a certain amount of interaction, but I dont think this is reaching anywhere near the potential it could. After all, for all the talk about suppliers being "trading partners", the fact is, you are a different company, and the supplier is a different company, and will continue to remain so. Which means that the aims of the two would conitunue to be mis-aligned. This happens with different divisions within the company, what can one talk about multiple companies. Which is why I feel that at the moment, companies must look at getting this moving internally, rather than try to be ambitious and get partners, vendors, customers into the fold.

An interesting post I came across about this ... This is by Dan Bricklin about wikis at Motorola. Interesting reading. Could have been more informative about the things they are doing there, but one very interesting thing which Dan writes about ...

Process management data that shows a choke point or other problem in a process can link back automatically to a search of wiki data to find prior material relating to that situation and even identify individuals to be called in.

What we are talking about here is that process data, or transactional data can, indeed be integrated with the emerging vision of internal social computing. If we take the thought of "baking knowledge into business processes", then the logical conclusion we could come to, from there, is to take business processes (and the data they generate), and link this into social computing tools which are deployed internally. I have written about this, where I was mentioning the fact that SAP is looking at integrating the two thought processes. This has huge potential ... Imagine using the power of social computing, integrated with business process management. This could be huge. The major reason ... This would harness the power of knowledge of the masses into identifying and solving inherent problems which are there in the business. Its not that this knowledge is not there. How many times have we heard someone saying ... if only they would listen to the guys around here, they would know whats wrong.

A lot had been written about the drawbacks of wikis ... definitely this is not a perfect tool, but having said that, theres maybe no such thing as a perfect tool ... considering the tool is just about as good as the situation to which it is applied, and the expertise of the people applying the tool.

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