This week saw Facebook celebrate its 10th birthday. A decade is a long time in tech, and Facebook’s meteoric rise has influenced the industry far beyond the realms of just social media. As hundreds of millions signed up to share their lives online, outside-of-work IT experiences began to drive expectations within the enterprise.
I began to see customers asking for social capabilities in the late 2000s, as social media really began to get a foothold. My company, for instance, then introduced Livefeed (Facebook-like newsfeeds), chat, and public and corporate social tool integrations.
But many were only asking for these features because they kept hearing about the “social revolution” from media, industry pundits and analysts. Like knowledge management a decade before, it was somewhat removed from the reality of business operations.
But things changed as we started the new decade. People (customers, employees, partners, and suppliers) were being influenced less by social in isolation and more by what most call the consumerisation of IT. Why couldn’t our IT experiences in work be similar to the ones we have on Facebook, or Amazon, with easy to navigate interfaces and drop down menus?
So social and Facebook have had a big part to play in shaping the future of enterprise IT, but it’s not just in the delivery of social capabilities. Facebook in particular has been one of the consumer services that have set the bar for the user experience.
Creating something that is just so easy to use, whether on a computer or mobile device, where the user doesn’t really see that they are using IT. And unlike much corporate software, the customer actually wants to use it.
Facebook has already changed corporate IT for the better. On the back of continued pressure for consumer-like experiences within the enterprise, innovative companies like it will continue to have a big influence.