With just over a month of the launch of Maarifa 2.0, we’ve covered a lot of territory. Sometimes it helps to step back and put it all in context, especially for those of you who may be new to the site. In this post, I’ll review the major themes, lessons learned, and best sources for ongoing learning.
In this series, you’ll see 3-4 weekly posts so stay tuned for more.
The case for a social intranet
The social sector must be lean, agile, and scalable to succeed. This is the very heart of the business value that enterprise 2.0 tools and practitioners deliver.
- we enable non profits to stay lean by consolidating and streamlining IT assets, sometimes moving them to the cloud, which can deliver real cost savings. We help organizations cut waste by improving data systems and reducing time to deliverables. All helping to create a lean organizations.
- we empower agile organizations that do not rely on fixed tools with long licenses and steep learning curves, but instead can easily shift human and IT assets to meet different needs and priorities.
- we help organizations scale by organizing and improving access to people and resources to share knowledge efficiently. As organizations grow, their knowledge grows with them – not the systems.
This is a major shift from traditional models of IT and human assets (e.g. learning and development) and we should embrace this as the core of the value add and ROI of enterprise 2.0 tools.
Getting started is hard, but the keys for success are increasingly known, doable, and measurable. Despite disagreements over the value of starting small, using pilots, or full scale implementations, it comes back to a fundamental assessment of the business need. I’ll demonstrate this with three examples of different scales – two that worked and one that didn’t. Furthermore, we’ll look at some great frameworks that others have developed that have universal appeal and applicability to help you get started or refine your strategy.
The full scale deployment
Karthrik rightly identified that the American Hospital Association (AHA) needed a social intranet to make its enterprise tools more easily available and connect different people from different hospitals through a single network. He prioritized this need by interviewing senior leaders to identify challenges they were having. One of the other major challenges Karthrik was tackling was the need for IT to better communicate with the rest of staff.
So he and his small team focused on infrastructure. They mapped out a clear path for what information would be stored internally, what would be in the cloud, and where its chosen vendor, SocialText, would fit in. He made adoption easy by doing three things:
1) he put the tools that people already use in one place,
2) made it easy to access them all with single sign on, and
3) built everything within a framework that allowed for easy social connections, updates, and expansion.
What’s important is that he met the goals that he and the leadership identified as major needs. There are two important lessons that this story provides: there is tremendous value in organizing enterprise assets in one location but it is equally important to know very clearly what challenge you are trying to solve. The needs of AHA might be different than yours, but by selecting SocialText (or really any adaptable platform or suite), Karthik had the ability to easily scale and implement other social and collaborative tools.
Come back next week to read more about the second case