Today’s modern workplace is worlds apart from its 80s-era counterparts. A nice, well-stocked cafeteria and company fitness center are collecting dust in the wake of a workforce that’s more mobile and fragmented than ever. Members of the same team can often work from remote locations around the globe, yet those same team members still need to stay in contact and keep abreast of what’s going on in the office. With hundreds of millions of people utilizing social networks–both in their private lives and as a corporate strategy–companies are now recognizing there’s no better way to remain connected in the modern workplace.
A consumer-facing social media presence is still incredibly valuable – Google+ offers an especially vibrant audience for tech companies with digital leanings – but the benefit of these company-facing networks is becoming very clear.
Corporate social software has gone beyond a cutting-edge concept to become an essential tool in today’s workplace. This software helps workers remain connected. These platforms allow someone within an organization to reach out to another co-worker (perhaps someone they might not know personally) to get relevant information and expertise for projects. They also enable transparency (in other words, one employee can look at what another co-worker is doing, making project management much easier.) It also minimizes, when used correctly, the age-old complaint that one individual or team doesn’t know what the other one is doing. Major players in the corporate social software arena include Yammer, Chatter and Jive Software.
With Yammer, employees can simply join the corporate social network, share with others, and begin taking advantage of many of its benefits. The hope it, of course, that corporate IT teams will desire to maintain control and will therefore purchase the paid version of this software.
Corporate software giant Salesforce released Chatter in an effort to create cloud-based corporate social networks. Of course, one of the major selling points with both of this software is that the company does not have to maintain the software on it’s servers, freeing up their IT guys for other company projects and eliminating the need for additional capacity on their network servers.
Jive Software, arguably the most successful of these corporate social software companies, is now offering companies a 30-day free trial offer, giving users the opportunity to test the software before purchasing. While Jive was initially created for servers, they quickly realized that different corporations prefer different things, so they created other models to suit a variety of companies. While many companies obviously prefer the opportunity to purchase software and customize it to their own corporate structure, others largely prefer the chance to utilize cloud computing as a way to appropriate their IT needs to other projects.
Regardless of which software company they choose, savvy companies in today’s marketplace are continually searching for cost-effective and efficient strategies to operate in this global marketplace. What better way to improve operations–across departments and across the miles–than to use an all-familiar platform that’s becoming increasingly more familiar to people everywhere? One effortless post allows any interested co-worker the opportunity to see progress… as it happens. Corporate social software alleviates problems like missed emails and duplicated efforts. It can become a useful tool for enhanced communication efforts–and who doesn’t need that? Like yesterday?
Simply put–well-utilized corporate social software can quickly and easily become the game-changing tool today’s companies need to boost efficiency and eliminate waste (of efforts, energy and resources) while increasing productivity, profits and overall morale. Whatever their costs, it’s a tiny price to pay to drive results… which is precisely why corporate social software will likely become–sooner than later–a core business practice for years to come.