Best Practices: Applying Social Business Challenges To Social Business Maturity Models

Early Adopters Cross Through Five Phases Of Social Business Maturity
Interviews with over 100 early adopters of social business (i.e. social crm, E2.0, social media marketing, etc.) reveal 5 phases of social business maturity (see Figure 1):

  1. Discovery. A few individuals begin the process of discovering new tools.  Individuals identify consumer tech innovations that impact enterprise business processes.
  2. Experimentation. Small teams experiment with new tools.  They fail fast on experiments, learn, and move on.
  3. Evangelization. Small department leaders seek repeatable processes and begin test pilots of technology.  Momentum begins to build for projects.
  4. Formalization. Successful evangelization leads to enterprise wide acceptance.  Processes become repeatable and predictable
  5. Realization. With a successful project at hand, the enterprise seeks to expand the usage to ecosystem stakeholders.  Suppliers, partners, and customers are brought into the fold.

Figure 1. Software Insider's 5 Phase Social Business Maturity Model

Key Challenges Align With Social Business Maturity Phases

As organizations face challenges in adoption, leaders face key challenges that align with Social Business Maturity (see Figure 2).  The 10 challenges Line of Business executives, CMO's, CIO's, Social Strategists, and COO's include:

  1. Discerning hype from reality.
  2. Garnering executive support.
  3. Fostering internal collaboration.
  4. Choosing the right tools.
  5. Incorporating social into existing business models.
  6. Identifying meaningful metrics.
  7. Scaling to match demand.
  8. Ensuring long-term funding.
  9. Keeping up with social innovations.
  10. Developing social business governance.

Figure 2.  10 Key Challenges Align With Social Business Maturity

(right click to view full image)
The Bottom Line: Early Adopters Can Anticipate Challenges By Social Business Maturity Model
As with Social CRM adoption, social business adoption will face similar stages of adoption and early adopters should focus on change management and business process design before beginning vendor selection.  In the 2010 State of Social Business survey, 45 early adopter indicated challenges with Level 1 issues (see Figure 3.)  When asked to list their top 3 social business challenges, 93.33% of chose identifying hype from reality while 80.00% focused on garnering executive support.  A little over half the respondents prioritized identifying meaningful metrics.  Preliminary results from over 100 interviews in the 2011 State of Social Business survey, hint to a shift to Level 2 issues.
The final findings will be released in a Constellation Research report on the State of Social Business available to clients and selected members of the media.
Figure 3. 2010 State of Social Business Survey Shows Most Challenges Aligned Level 1 Issues

Your POV.
Having trouble convincing management its time for Social Business?  Looking to build out a Social Business strategy?   Hoping that we'll write a piece of research you're interested in?  You can post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.
Please let us know if you need help with your Social Business efforts.  Here’s how we can help:

  • Assessing social business/social CRM readiness
  • Developing your social business/ social CRM  strategy
  • Vendor selection
  • Implementation partner selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers
  • Sharing best practices
  • Designing a next gen apps strategy
  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Demystifying software licensing

Resources And Related Research:

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