According to research firm IDC, it's an enterprise that is actively leveraging the power of communication, collaboration and social media technologies. Today's collaborative technology "has changed customer, employee, supplier, and partner expectations and is shaping a fresh way of interacting," the firm states. "As interaction is redefining online relationships, innovative methods of communication and collaboration have emerged and trust takes on new importance."
To help organizations better understand the dynamics of collaboration in the social business, the firm has created a new strategic framework. The framework is designed to "foster better communication, collaboration, and overall understanding of current market dynamics to decrease language barriers between vendors, customers, and the broader industry."
The key elements of the framework are:
- Market Factors. These issues generate a need for business change. Among them: competition, brand awareness, customer behavior, economic conditions, and workforce dynamics.
- Social Objectives. These objectives are closely linked to overall business strategies and goals -- and are tied to the key stakeholders in your organization. Among them: customer engagement; employee empowerment; partner enablement; and supplier engagement.
- Social Outputs. These are the vehicles used to collaborate and interact with stakeholders. They fall into two areas: content and community. Content is the communication that occurs in collaborative media, while community most often manifests itself as a social network or group that is connected by some interest or issue.
- Social Technology. This category includes social platforms, social applications and social features. Social platforms serve as a foundation for building solutions that integrate content and community. Social applications carry out a collaborative business function or generate social media. Social features are modifications on evolving applications.
But demands have shifted and companies must explore new approaches. "While process is still relevant and important, it must be more flexible to accommodate the dynamic business environment created by the hyper-connected and highly mobile Internet. The social business recognizes that people and businesses collaborate in different ways. It enables a choice in communication methods among today's workforce, where it is not the technology at the center of the conversation but how people work and interact."