The predictions for 2013 are coming in thick and fast. We know technologies such as mobile, cloud and big data have been making the news and that the Internet of Things is the new darling of the analyst community and application platform players. IDC claim that enterprise social networks that drive collaboration and give employees a social workspace will transition from being pilots to full-scale production reality while Gartner states that engagement and reward platforms that tie employee performance and actions to business outcomes will explode.
Within three years we’re expected to see this along with gamification techniques across 40% of the Global 1000 companies and the market to reach $2bn+ by 2016.
But it’s not the predictions and market numbers that will make the headlines. It’s the cumulative effect on enterprise productivity that will.
It’s often been a complaint of many analyst conferences that the ‘success’ stories have grown stale, after all there’s only so many times you can hear the same program change story being told just with a different company logo on the presentation deck without yawning. Where the tales of enterprise wide improvement and process efficiency will start to come in from are those who have embraced more collaborative and leaner ways of working, not by implementing bloated software stacks and hard to learn application builders.
The sum of real productivity success in 2013 is in how these different social concepts are constructed and used together. For example:
- Spigit crowdsources, incubates and manages innovation from employees using its social platform
- Bunchball employs its gamification mechanics across employee networks, customer and supply channels to engage users in a more meaningful and productive manner
- Leaderboarded takes internal employee engagement and motivation to create a leaderboard for managers and just about anything
- Sparqlight‘s social workflow application opens up process and task management to the entire enterprise
On their own they have unique approaches to employee productivity and their individual strengths but it’s in their application as a collective that the real power and productivity behind a social workplace will emerge. Leaderboarded or Bunchball on their own capture and drive engagement to new levels but when used with a workflow solution built using the same social ethos such as Sparqlight is where the benefits really stack up.
Social and Gamification needs Workflow in order to drive and channel all that activity and engagement otherwise it’s all for naught.
2013 and beyond may mean big business for the social enterprise technology markets and the analysts who want to keep them segregated but the biggest wins and success stories will emerge when organizations begin to use the right combinations, when the social software companies forge the right alliances, and when employees and customers reap the benefits.
Now that’s a success story worth telling at a conference.