For CIOs, it's a new reality: the enterprise is now social, whether you like it or not. As people increasingly rely on social media in their personal lives, they want to be connected to 'tweets' and 'likes' and status updates in the workplace as well.
So do others in the enterprise. Marketing wants to reach customers faster with 'content', while the CFO wants to use social media to reach out to investors. For the CEO, social media is about reputation management outside the company and better internal communication inside. In short, you just can't beat the social media mantra of "communicate, be accessible, and constantly generate new content."
What all of this means is that today's CIO must embrace social media within the organization. In my article for CIO Insight, "Social Media and the CIO: Be the Gas Pedal, Not the Brake," we present five key recommendations for CIOs:
- Make social media an asset, not something to fight. The very qualities that have the potential to make social media a distraction for workers can also create advantages for your organization, such as enhancing your brand, your processes, your customer service, and your internal and external communications.
- Create and distribute a social media policy. The issues the policy should address include confidentiality, privacy, communications standards for engagement, personal versus business engagements, harassment, and other areas specific to the organization.
- At the department level, ask employees to brainstorm ideas on how social media can enhance their work, business processes, and your company's brand in general.
- Investigate technologies that will integrate social media with your business processes, including CRM, to create synergies across the board.
- Give your people the tools they need to be productive using social media, such as smartphones and iPads or other tablets.
As the title of the article states, when it comes to enterprise social media the CIO should function as the enabler (the accelerator) instead of the obstacle (the brake).
What recommendations do you have for the CIO contemplating social media adoption within his or her company?