Social technologies are becoming more important to business, according to a survey conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. However, the adoption of social technologies often means changing the way people work, and that means executives need to invest time and effort in explaining the purpose and value of using the new tools, as well as providing the necessary financial and organizational supports to sustain these work flow changes over time.
The authors’ research is based on two surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012, as well as dozens of interviews with executives and social business thought leaders. The 2012 survey had more than 2,500 respondents from 25 industries and 99 countries. According to its findings, 52% of managers say their companies are at an early stage of developing social capabilities. For these managers, the top barriers to using social business are a lack of strategy, no business case and a lack of management understanding.
The authors explain the importance of three types of senior leadership support for initiatives that rely on social technologies: (1) support for these initiatives over time, not just when they are launched, (2) executives’ own use of social technologies as a signal of their importance, and (3) a pragmatic attitude about what to measure and when to measure results from these initiatives.
As marketers capitalize on social tools, the relationship between CMOs and CIOs can change, and some organizations are hiring chief digital officers, the authors note. They observe that successful social business initiatives can produce changes in the way executives work together.