The McKinsey Global Institute released an excellent report in 2012 entitled, The Social Economy. Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies which whilst some three years old, make compelling reading. The report found (amongst other things) that:
The speed and scale of adoption of social technologies by customers far exceeded any previous technologies but businesses and organisations were far from being able to harness their value.
Social technologies had distinct characteristics all of which were critical to be understood for a business perspective. The most significant was its capacity to provide social interaction at the speed and scale of the Internet. Furthermore, their ability to ‘’disintermediate’’ commercial relationships had real potential to upend traditional business models.
65% of the value created by these technologies lay in improving communication and collaboration within and across organisations.
Social technologies provided a rich source of customer insight and was a facilitator of the development of communities of interest which could be harnessed (or ignored….) and.
Organisations that fail to understand and invest in social technologies run the real risk that their business model will be significantly disrupted as a consequence.
The social sector has been slow with adopting social technologies and has generally utilised and embraced them only as others have. That is, there is knowledge that they should have them as others do, but not a recognition of their importance and value they can bring to the business.
We are not advocating that organisations suddenly set up on online store or create something magical just to be part of this revolution. What we are saying is that it is now part and part of every business and ignoring it may be as problematical as ignoring another key element of your organisation, such as payroll!