IBM is introducing new programs, services and partnerships to help organizations develop and deepen skills to accelerate business opportunities being driven by the rapid adoption of social networking in the enterprise. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million last year.*
With today's news, IBM is investing in its clients and business partners to develop the skills, technical support and industry resources that will allow them to effectively adopt social networking capabilities to transform their business operations.
This includes introducing new technical workshops designed to improve skills and consulting offerings to help develop a business culture that fosters open collaboration and sharing among employees, clients, and business partners. Through the use of interactive online courses, live support and one-on-one guidance with IBM Social Business experts, IBM is working with organizations across the globe to educate them on the benefits of applying social networking technology to their organizations, while at the same time helping to assess the barriers of social business for faster adoption.
As the industry leader in social business, among the first to embrace social internally and to develop social computing policy and guidelines, IBM is poised to help organizations exploit the transformation into a social business, helping them to build stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and make better decisions, faster. A successful social business must combine the use of social technologies with a business culture that promotes transparency, trust and information sharing among the workforce. Quite often, organizations need guidance around developing social policy, governance, the skills needed for compliance and connecting social technologies to business processes.
Through the new social business initiatives, IBM is delivering the right set of skills, technical support, development resources, and industry expertise that will allow clients and business partners to expand their social business capabilities effectively and accelerate adoption. This includes:
Strategic consulting from IBM Global Business Services to help organizations better understand their current adoption of social business tools for both internal and external purposes and helps to articulate how social business accelerates and alleviates business challenges.
Global educational and mentorship programs for clients and business partners on how to become effective community managers, the fastest growing job in social, while increasing employee engagement over top, line-of-business communities on the social software platform.
Technical certification programs that help customers and business partners validate and demonstrate their skills through assessment exams and training resources so that they can plan for and perform the installation, configuration and day-to-day tasks associated with ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of social software solutions.
Social Business Agenda workshops on IBM PartnerWorld providing immediate access to discussions forums focused on the benefits of becoming a social business, providing clients and business partners with case study examples of successful social businesses, and helping them to develop an agenda for driving social adoption.
IBM is also announcing a partnership with The Dachis Group, the world's leader in powering the design, development, management, and measurement of Social Business performance, to help organizations quickly drive adoption success through a social business adoption quickstart workshop. The workshop combines IBM services for the implementation of Social Business solutions for enterprises with additional services from The Dachis Group and focuses on the use of social business technology while fostering cultural skills and engagement.
IBM is also collaborating with Group Business System, an IBM Business Partner, to help IBM clients convert IBM Lotus Notes applications into applications accessible on the Web or via mobile devices. The new IBM services offering using Group Business System's Transformer product will help clients retain the value of their significant investments made over the years in the Lotus Notes and Domino platform while enabling them to take full advantage of the latest web technology to support their business.
According to a 2011 AIIM survey, over 50 percent of user organisations now consider becoming a Social Business to be imperative or significant to their business goals. However, many organizations use social technologies only to find them fall flat. This is often the case because of a failure to align their Social Business strategy to their unique, organizational culture. According to the 2011 State of Community Management Report from The Community Roundtable, culture is the hardest thing to change in an organization. According to a survey from the report, 28 percent of respondents said that their organizational culture was either resistant to sharing, controlling, or paranoid.
"The opportunity to transform into a social business can be stunted without a focus on engagement, culture change, and policy," said Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Social Business, IBM. "Social technologies, when combined with the right skills and culture, can truly unlock the potential of people within the organization to collaborate, innovate, make smarter business decisions and ultimately drive their bottom line."
For more information about IBM's social business initiative, please visit http://www.ibm.com/press/socialbusiness.