A new collaborative and blended model for implementing community solutions.
Creating and implementing successful online community solutions requires champions within the organization. They are the leading adopters who have a vision and believe that online communities and social networking solutions are the right choice. What we are seeing in many organizations, is that the the business owners are becoming the new breed of champions.
Even more interesting is that they are being supported - even encouraged by Management and backed up by IT. This is a very encouraging sign. This new blended decision model has all three stakeholders at the table, right from the beginning when choosing a solution. In my opinion, this model is quickly proving to be the right choice as it offers a more collaborative approach and allows each group to provide input - both on requirements and expected outcomes.
I believe that having champions at all levels within the organization, it helps companies overcome the operational, technical and cultural barriers that have either prevented or slowed down the adoption of emerging technologies like online communities and social networking.
I think there are many reasons for this transformation:
- Global Competition: to be competitive in the global economy, companies are quickly learning that they need to be more agile, innovative and responsive. The need for speed is a top priority. Companies are looking to dramatically improve productivity through improved knowledge sharing, collaboration and relationship building.
- Web 2.0: has proven that deploying applications has never been easier, faster or more cost effective. This new try before you buy model also mitigates tremendous financial risk as companies no longer have to put forth large upfront capital investments for their enterprise solutions.
- Adoption: by having the business owner in control or managing the decision making process, the potential for adoption dramatically increases.
- Budget: most web 2.0 solutions start at less than $25,000 per year, well below most departmental budget caps. This makes them easier to slide under the radar gun and not get caught up on normal internal budgetary approval process.
- Lean IT: more and more companies are looking at something called "Lean IT" or outsourcing solutions to 3rd party vendors. With IT & IS departments buried in spam, virus control, email management, enterprise deployments etc., they have little or no time to support internal business requests. Outsourcing is becoming a great alternative solution as employees can find their own solutions with little support or burden on IT.
It will be very interesting to see over the coming months the tremendous ROI results from leading community adopters in the market.
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