There are seveal thought leaders in the use of social computing within the enterprise. One, who has been very open in sharing their experience, is Intel. We all know Intel as a leading technology company. I am writing this blog on a laptop with Intel inside. However, we may not instantly think of Intel as a leader in social computing.
In fact, Intel began defining its social computing strategy and implementation roadmap in early 2008. Like many companies, Intel was concerned that employees would become distracted by social networking platforms. However, they also recognized that social computing could transform the way Intel employees connect with each other and lead to greater communication and collaboration.
Intel began by defining their top level business challenges. Their challenges are similar to those expressed by small, medium and large businesses: improve knowledge sharing, increase the speed of innovation, facilitate employeed learning, provide leadership and protect intellectual property. With these challenges in hand, they established goals which their social computing strategy would have to address to be considered a successful strategy. They also considered the need for governance, executive support and risk assessment.
With a lot of information in hand, Intel then proceeded to define a variety of Proof-of-Concepts. They wanted to be sure they understood the way that their various teams were currenlty communicating and collaboratin so that any new solution would enhance the user experience. This effort allowed them to clearly understand employee pain points.
Note, Intel had not yet discussed the technology. It is important to focus on the company culture, goals, challenges and processes before beginning the technology discussion. The architecture they selected reflects the needs of large enterprise businesses to integrate new social media tools with existing platforms and networks. This addresses concerns about process, investment and employee adoption.
Intel has published a white paper with further information about their process and strategy evolution. It's enlightening and validating. I would encourage any business that is trying to figure out how they can implement social networking tools, behind the firewall, to check out this whitepaper and Intel's blogs on the topic.