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Meaningful social investments becoming critical

Cindy Cheng, ​Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, EMEA, Appian
October 29, 2012

Many businesses leaders have been slow to invest in social strategies for internal or external purposes. According to a recent Ovum study, organizations that slow to adopt social software put themselves in a position to fall behind competitors.

Importance of internal and external social systems

The Ovum study found that many executives have moved slowly on adopting social software systems, even though the costs of such an investment are relatively small. The gains, on the other hand, are considerable. Margaret Goldberg, IT services analyst for Ovum, explained that the different types of data provided by social software systems can be extremely valuable for businesses.

"Social media often only requires a miniscule fraction of the seats and revenue required for traditional channels, yet it can provide enterprises with valuable real-time market data," said Goldberg. "However, enterprise executives are yet to see this value."

Because social solutions offer so much value at such a low price, the return on investment is significant. This creates an environment in which businesses that neglect to make strategic social media investments can quickly fall behind their competition.

Making the most of social media

Putting money into social solutions is not a sure-fire way to ensure a return on investment. When social software is used to enable better data gathering and internal collaboration, the results can be considerable. But such strategies can also overwhelm employees with large amounts of data being delivered from a variety of sources. This is especially problematic if the cloud, mobile and social systems that interact are not integrated effectively. Business process management software provides the underlying foundation necessary to ensure issues with data management do not get in the way with operational procedures.

One of the most prominent issues when integrating cloud, social and mobile channels is dealing with the issue of context. With data being delivered to workers from a variety of sources, understanding how that information was created and where it is coming from is a vital consideration. The integration and automation tools built into BPM software can provide the necessary context to inform processes and help employees get the greatest possible value from IT investments.

In the social software realm, the technology has the potential to engage employees through effective collaboration. BPM can unify the data created through social collaboration with information in application systems, maximizing the value of corporate interactions.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing