I spent the last week fully immersed at our user conference (OpenText Content World 2011) and in my opinion; I think it may have been our best conference to date. Each year I like to create a post after the conference that speaks to my experiences at the event and this year I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at a previous post I wrote in 2009 on social media and it's use and acceptance at the conference, just to see how far we have come in the last 2 years. As with the past years, I went to the conference to present on the topic of social business and the value of applying social media across the organization to help improve the customer experience. In 2009 I wrote in my post;
I would have to say that this year I heard less about adoption issues, (though this is still a concern for many) as our customers seem to be on the path of understanding how they can apply social media to their current business processes to help knowledge share and better engage with each other and their customers. Many of the conversations that I had with our customers revolved around the ability to ensure that they can measure the effectiveness of their use of social media in the Enterprise. Customers were very interested in seeing where we are heading with our web and social analytics offerings as well as compliance; many of our customers are asking about how they can best balance the risks vs. the rewards when it comes to using social media in the Enterprise in an effective and safe manner. There were many discussions around the governance of social content and how customers can evolve their current knowledge management strategies to also now include social content.
There was a general consensus with the attendees in my sessions that it was not a question of whether or not they saw the need to introduce more “social” tools to their users to allow them to contribute and build out conversations around content and business processes - the struggle existed in the ability to shift the mindset of users. Many people in the room were more concerned about how they were going to be able to adapt to the use of social media. They understood that this was more than just introducing new tool sets; it represented a culture shift - a shift that needs to happen to make the use of these social tools take on meaning and relevancy in their organizations.
It was nice to see this progression in the conversation around social media. The conversation is no longer just about the "why social media", we have progressed to the "how social media" and now we are starting to hear "how can we do better social media".
Where are you in your path to social business? Let's keep the conversations moving....