Even IT Execs Are Feeling The Hurt By Ignoring Social Media

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"Not embracing social networking is like saying I’d rather hide my money under the mattress than put it in a bank. Companies make a big mistake when they prohibit these tools out of the sheer fear of what employees will say when they communicate with one another."

That was one of the lead quotes from the CIO article, Ignoring Web 2.0 Will Cost You, by Sandra Gittlen from Network World. The quote was from Rene Bonvanie, Senior Vice-President at Serena Software, "a maker of application life-cycle management," and the article is a great read if you’re looking for ways to bring some of the Social Media ideas to the table.

I was particularly blown away how Serena Software is looking for ways to encourage their employees to connect (not just to one another, but to customers as well) leveraging a spirit of open collaboration. They’ve even started a "Facebook Fridays" to get their people more connected and "playing" with these tools. An interesting strategic by-product from Facebook Fridays has been in HR. They find that more and more young people are increasingly interested in joining their firm.

It’s not just about online social networks either. In the true spirit of Web 2.0, there’s also an increase in corporate mash-ups. That’s right, mash-ups is not just taking the song YMCA and layering it over the Gears of War ad.

"…organizations can create a mash-up, a combination of multiple applications, of their CRM database and their employees’ Facebook contacts to identify personal links among sales prospects. Companies should think about that kind of potential," says Tom Austin, Vice President and Fellow at Gartner.

So, this whole Social Media and Web 2.0 stuff is not just a fad? (that was sarcasm).

Two more key insights:

"my supervisor used to send messages about team strategies via email. But when new people came onboard, they don’t have access to that tribal knowledge. Now all that goes into a Blog, so there’s a history that’s always accessible," says Lee Thomas – Vice President of IT and Product Development – Berkshire-Hathaway‘s CORT.

"We believe human contact is what makes companies successful. If people don’t communicate and collaborate, not a whole lot will happen. We know there are risks, but the positives far outweigh them in how much spirit social networking and collaboration brings to an organization," says Bernardo Huberman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Information Dynamics LaboratoryHP.

Lots of gems that will, without a doubt, spark more Blog postings from me in the future. The statements seem so obvious. But they’re not. If they were, everybody would be doing it, and not the 10% penetration of social networking tools in corporations that this article claims.

Read it all here: CIO – Ignoring Web 2.0 Will Cost You – By: Sandra Gittlen.

Hat-tip to Derek at Twist Image was sending this on.