Social Media Adoption by the Enterprise

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Related point of view by IBM’s Institute for Business Value

Certainly, an enterprise cannot turn on a dime, but it was six years ago that my then 15 year old son informed me that “email is for adults.” In my father’s Merrill Lynch office, now part of Bank of America, their advantage in the brokerage business was access to and adoption of technology. Now these sorts of outfits are among the last to adopt. Outlook and Notes are not the answers for the enterprise; will it be Facebook? Doubt this as well. If change does not occur in an orderly manner within the business, it will be induced from without.

I see this at the radio station, WXDU, where I am a volunteer DJ and have been for seven semesters. The new DJs are different this year. In my opinion, this is the first freshman class who was introduced to music via the iPod. Their music comes from others and is shared with others and is played on their own devices in any order and format that they want. It’s second nature. Who would listen to a seemingly random selection of someone else’s music, someone that you don’t know. And this attitude manifests itself in reliability at the station. DJs back-out or call in sick or don’t show due to an exam, not because they are not responsible people, I feel that it is because they cannot imagine that whatever audience is out there would really mind if they didn’t hear someone else’s music played at a particular hour. Ditto for information sharing at work. If they don’t get the tools and access to information that they think that they need, they’ll get it somewhere else and from somebody else and not even realize that there is a difference.