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Being truly social often requires process innovation

Cindy Cheng, ​Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, EMEA, Appian
January 29, 2013

The social enterprise is a widely discussed term that attempts to capture the vision that many business leaders have for truly social operations in corporate settings. Such terms play an important role in contemporary operations, as companies face pressure to become social on multiple levels, but there is a big difference between a business that employs social tools and a social enterprise. Becoming a social enterprise generally involves making processes and other facets of operations more social, not just adopting social tools. Business process management software solutions can play a major role in making social processes happen.

Progressing from using social to social operations

Many organizations are using social technologies. This involves taking advantage of social media for customer services, marketing and other facets of operations. It can also entail the implementation of internal social media tools for collaboration. Such functionality is important in corporate settings, but it does not create social workers or operations.

Social functionality is distinct from using social tools. Organizations can take advantage of social technologies and be inherently social, but they can also use social media and remain a traditional organization, not a social enterprise. The key distinguishing point does not come from technology. Instead, companies become social by making their processes social in nature.This is a complex and challenging transition that requires process innovation, IT transformation and automation. BPM software can provide the connecting links that make such operations possible.

Walking the path to becoming a social enterprise

Becoming a social enterprise starts with process innovation. Businesses have to identify processes that can be automated and ways to improve operations so workers function in a more intuitive and social manner. From there, BPM solutions can be put into place to make the back office social. BPM uses automation and integration to enable streamlined communication between IT assets so data can be sent to and from applications without human input. Thismakes IT social.

The functionality offered in such setups has a major impact on end users. Social IT systems give employees access to the data and applications they need, when they need it, allowing them to get the job done better, take a customer-centric approach to operations and collaborate more effectively. This creates a truly social operational climate and helps a business go from using social tools to being social.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing