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Social Media in Government: Use Appian BPM to "Get Out of the Way of the Steamroller"

Ben Farrell
May 10, 2011

It's a matter of "if you can't beat em, join em." Federal agencies and other organizations need to capitalize on the value of social media, according to Jesse Wilkins, director of systems engagement for the Association for Information and Image Management. In a recent NextGov wrapup of the info360 information management conference in Washington, D.C., Mr. Wilkins said, "We shouldn't stand in front of the steamroller." He added that trying to prevent employees from using Facebook, Twitter or similar social media sites "is just not realistic."

With Appian's mobile BPM and social BPM software, there's no need to fight the inevitable. Appian grounds a familiar Facebook-style interface in a business context - using business processes and events to harness social business action and collaboration that drives real business value for government and commercial organizations.

Besides the inherent complexity of blocking access to the proliferation of such sites (as well as their accessibility via mobile devices), Wilkins stressed that organizations that block social communication are missing out on important tools.

Developers and early adopters of technology know the value of the tools offered by social sites. At the enterprise level, mobile BPM and social BPM are becoming important tools for leveraging that value across an organization. The latest release of the Appian's BPM software does just that. In addition, any Appian application can be turned into a native mobile application for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android - with ZERO additional development costs.

Appian has always understood the importance of BPM ease of use. That's why our software features a user interface that bears enough similarity to other social media platforms that users feel comfortable putting the tool to work immediately. With "social BPM," process issues can be discussed, analyzed and resolved through quickly-created teams and shared forms. Its mobile architecture ensures that even on-the-go executives can provide their insights and approvals into process execution and improvement in their organization.

This type of innovation goes to Wilkins' view that blocking access to social media is a losing battle. Instead, companies and agencies should work to treat the new influx of technology as a resource, and ensure that the tools emerging from this resource are used constructively.

If you can't beat em, join em. But do it right - in a way that ensures organizational value.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications