There is a groundswell in enterprises around the world towards Social Business and Digital Workplace initiatives. There are two important questions about this major shift in business priority:

  • Why invest in making our business more social?
  • How do I make it happen?

Drawing from what we’ve experienced working with our customers and heard from other experts, here are five answers for each.

Five reasons to make your business more social:

  1. Employee engagement. The right tools and communications create an inspiring and motivating environment that helps them care. Without that, engagement will always lag.
  2. Flexible work environments. Today’s workforce expects (demands?) flexibility and work/life balance.  Be proactive – provide ubiquitous access, assume “work-from-anywhere” when designing services.
  3. Virtual teams and communities. Next to individual engagement, team formation is one of the top success factors for today’s business.  People need to easily work with anyone, anywhere – and then quickly change to work with another team after that.
  4. Deeper connections. Despite physical distances, success comes from the tightness of teams, and the unified understanding of the business mission and goals.
  5. Business agility – change is accelerating; make your business more capable of change. According to Microsoft, 71% of business leaders report that enterprise social tools increase the speed of knowledge access.

Five ways to make it happen:

  1. Executive voice. Bring your message (and the company’s purpose) more frequently and more directly to everyone in the company. Schedule regular live virtual meetings to update the team together.
  2. Enable collaboration. Bring your team together virtually with a centralized social portal. The growing use of Jive, IBM Connections, Yammer and other social business portals is a proof point of this need.
  3. Share knowledge. Information powers your business. Content must be easy for everyone to create and share. Also, it must be easy to find and access.
  4. User-focused workflows. Change the focus of how and why things get done to enable team members, not “the system.” Reduce or eliminate friction and it will pay dividends with increased adoption and reduced “shadow IT”.
  5. Mobile-centric communications. Assume mobile in every process and capability. Employees are choosing mobile for more and more of their personal activities and communications.  They want it at work too.

Why wasn’t video on the list?  Because it is part of the solution for every one of the five “make it happen” priorities above.  Video platforms enable live global broadcasts to any device, anywhere; put video directly within social collaboration portal pages; making creating and searching for videos Google-simple; and make video content creatable and accessable on mobile devices.

With an enterprise video platform in place as part of your strategic infrastructure, you can make video available “for free” for these use cases – and adaptable to any other use cases for the future as needs change.

Making your business social is now a necessity; include video from the beginning to do it right.