Social media is a wide concept but in our case we define it as new ways for people to communicate and collaborate across enterprises.
If social media enables better knowledge sharing, more effective communication and better bottom line results then everyone should be driving social media inside the organization. In reality organizations are still made up from processes and structures, thus we expect change to be driven by leadership. In other words it should be CxO level management that drives new company wide solutions.
I believe we first need to define whether we are talking about social media tools or actual solutions. A tool for example microblogging can help people share information and can exist as a separate entity in the organization’s IT environment. These tools we see spread in the organization often virally. In most cases top management discovers that such a tool is used when a large number of workers are already using it.
Solutions are an integral part of an organization’s IT environment since they in one way or another are integrated with other systems. They also aim to solve a specific problem, for example CRM provides a sales process. Therefore the implementation process of social media solutions is often more traditional. Then the question of who should be charge of such an implementation becomes more apparent.
Solutions have a difficulty to spread virally throughout the organization. Since IT departments are involved questions like security are raised. Solutions also need more than an active community to succeed. The question then becomes whether a social media solution is part of the company’s strategy or not. This would be role of a CxO to define.
To be continued!