Why Enterprise Social Tools Are Not Like Facebook

There are some stark differences between the the way social media works inside the workplace and for our social life. This means that the software tools are very different.

So using Facebook (FB) inside the enterprise won’t work well – nor will other tools designed to ape FB. So FB should be banned for office collaboration, provided a better application is provided instead.

Consider the differences:

Facebook in our social like is designed so that we can keep in touch with friends and relatives and communicate. Much like an evening out at the pub, club or restaurant. We are not trying to ‘achieve’ anything.

At work the collaboration is because we need to be able to work with others, who are now more often than not remote. The social or collaboration applications enable us to connect with others who can help us get our job done more quickly, easily or effectively. Period.

The electronic social tools means that the connections which were limited to being physical can now be virtual. We can hook into skills or expertise we never knew existed in another office. and ‘get the job done’. Not ‘hang out with mates’.

This distinction out a very different set of requirements on the enterprise social tools and also how they are implemented.

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Ian Gotts is CEO and Chairman of Nimbus Partners, an established and rapidly growing global software company, headquartered in the UK. He is a very experienced senior executive and serial entrepreneur, with a career spanning 25 years. Ian has co-authored a number of books including “Common Approach, Uncommon Results”, published in English and Chinese and in its second edition, "Why Killer Products Don't Sell" and books covering Cloud computing from the perspective of both the prospective buyer, and the software vendor. Having begun his career in 1983 as an engineer for British Rail, Ian then spent 12 years at Accenture (nee Andersen Consulting) specialising in the project management of major business critical IT projects. During this time, he spent two years as an IT Director, seconded to the Department for Social Security (DSS), with a department of over 500 and a budget responsibility of 40 million pounds.