6 June 2012
Last week we launched our white paper related to “Bring Your Own Behaviour” and I was delighted with the many responses it received. The general sentiment was the acknowledgement that the trend of consumerisation in the enterprise is much more than just allowing employees to show up with their own handset, and that many who do not use social media are just not aware of the dramatic changes it is making to human behavior. The thing is that incremental innovations and changes in human behavior are happening at such a rapid pace that our way of working just 12 months down the line has already changed and continues to change.
- The average user spends 700 minutes a month on Facebook
- Approximately 1 in every 13 people on earth log in to FB every day (thanks Social Media Sage)
- 350 million of these log in via mobile phone
- Organizations are increasingly investing in enterprise social software with the vision of creating a social layer across business applications (Forrester)
- Other recent research shows that long time internet use results in structural alterations to the brain
(I just threw in that last fact to check that you are awake. It happens to be true, though.)
Many of the comments I received as a response to our BYOB white paper were very insightful and the one I choose to lift here is from a leading analyst who talked about UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration – an ICT term covering telephony, PBX, file sharing, presence services, conferencing et al) as a term being obsolete soon and trends moving to personal communication instead.
This got me thinking. I believe the biggest challenge will be for enterprise systems and processes especially in large companies to keep up with the rapidly changing end-user behavior. One solution could be for corporations to reduce the emphasis on technology investments and increase the emphasis on processes and policies. In addition to processes related to the purchase and use of TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) solutions by end-users, I think an important area coming up is corporate ethics and policies related to code of conduct. This is already important but I believe it will become even more in focus as employees become more aware of social issues and ethical questions due to the increasing amount of information they get from peer groups worldwide via social media. Transparency, integrity and ethics –in order to walk the talk a company is increasingly dependent on stringent employee policies and behavioral ethics in its own and its employees’ actions. In this new era of human interconnectedness and innovation, Communications, Human Resources and IT will need to work closely and quickly together to secure that the brand image remains strong and secure with no unthinking employee acts that will spread like wildfire thanks to social media today. This would be a good time to review your company's code of conduct and see if it is needed to deepen it with more examples and detail.
I love the preface to the Google code of conduct, which I think sums it up: “Don’t be evil”. (The rest of their code of conduct is good too http://investor.google.com/corporate/code-of-conduct.html ) ). There are so many implications of the recent innovations in TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) technology in our way of living and working that it could be time for company's to gather executives together and review working practices, to make sure the innovations in social media are really used for the positives they can create and to be proactive and ahead of a future that will be transparent, high integrity - and affect all of us.