Social platforms have advanced, and the concept of social networking has matured. Global software development services have unleashed many new concepts in social sites. No longer are the social networking platforms used only for chat and sharing user generated content. The concept has moved beyond the basics; thanks to the innovation made by the global software development services providers. Today, the social platforms are used by many verticals for multiple purposes. It can be used for advertisement, web promotion, grievance forum, brand building, achieving goodwill, bombarding information, joining causes and the user generated content on social sites is of significant use for media professionals.
Further, cloud computing has made the existence and expansion of social networking sites possible. With the concepts of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, apparently there is no trouble in information storage beyond the company’s storage capability and access across the geographical boundaries. What if we apply social networking in enterprises? What results will it yield?
Enterprise Social Networking
Just like the public version of social networking sites, it was early discovered that enterprises too need a networking platform. Enterprises being a confidential entity, they obviously won’t use existing social platforms to connect with clients, partners or employees. Although an enterprise may not require a platform as huge as Facebook, but the concept can be still applied to its internal portal, depending on the size of the company and features they demand.
There are several benefits to the concept of enterprise social networking:
- Greater customer and employee participation
- Peer-to-Peer knowledge sharing allows cross divisional collaboration and faster research work
- Better decision making through quick opinion sharing
- Increase productivity by working together on a project
- Know the work status online and lots more
Moreover, enterprise social networking platforms put employee relationships into a strong tie domain. For example, if I put a set of employees into a Facebook group, they will start knowing each other personally, mitigating friction among them. This results in strong ties between employees. However, creating full-fledged social networking sites for small enterprises is not feasible. Therefore, global software development services providers have made thorough requirement analysis mandatory before engaging into an actual project.
What does it take to build an enterprise-specific social networking platform?
First step towards enterprise social networking is planning and chalking the features that you think would add an advantage and leverage user experience. For example, you need Wikis for sharing online interactive documents for several people to edit, blogs for commenting longer, published messages, social tagging for online marketers, mobile integration that typically refers to the mobile accessibility to your software.
Next step is to identify stakeholders. Global software development services providers suggest that it is important to understand the stakeholders: The firm that requires the software, employees using the software and customers and suppliers that connect to the software.
The last step is to understand the key trends and uncertainties. Trend analysis includes the latest trend adopted; for example, analyzing whether or not there is an alternate technology that may reduce cost while determining key uncertainties includes evaluating the actual benefits and practically determining the problems an application can go through.
Enterprise social networking does have a plethora of benefits, but only after considering all the above. If any of the above scenarios do not support or is not feasible, your experience may be deteriorating.