I recently read about the Five Top Challenges of Integrating Social Media Data with Business Applications by Elias Terman on the CTOEdge. The five were: social data streams overwhelm enterprise applications; unstructured social media data is difficult to manage; new access methods and standards; data quality and quantity; the elephant in the room: Big Data. Now it seems to me that these issues are all, or at least mostly, about how to connect old school enterprise applications of record that deal with transactions and the new school systems of engagement that deal with interactions.
I still like to go back to McKinsey’s 2006 paper, The next revolution in interactions to reflect on two quotes: “In today's developed economies, the significant nuances in employment concern interactions: the searching, monitoring, and coordinating required to manage the exchange of goods and services.” They say that traditionally the focus of business and IT investments has been on production rather than interactions and added the following.
“Currently, jobs that involve participating in interactions rather than extracting raw materials or making finished goods account for more than 80 percent of all employment in the United States. And jobs involving the most complex type of interactions—those requiring employees to analyze information, grapple with ambiguity, and solve problems—make up the fastest-growing segment.”
Social media, with its focus on interactions, is ideal for the new economy based on these interactions. However, as I wrote in Putting Social Media to Work, to be effective these systems that support interactions have to integrated with the systems of record that support transactions.
A post by Andy McAfee that makes a similar point. He, in turn, quotes a post by Laurie Buczek, The Big Failure of Enterprise 2.0 Social Business. “Culture will change as a result of the pervasive use of social tools. Lack of cultural change is not social business’s biggest failure. The biggest failure is the lack of workflow integration to drive culture change.”
For enterprise 2.0 to truly be an enterprise operation, it needs to take in the old with the new. It should not replace what is currently in place to support transactions but complement it so that transactions and the interactions around them are connected.