IBM's 2014 Social Business Outlook: From 'Liking' to Leading

1 - IBM's 2014 Social Business Outlook: From 'Liking' to Leading
2 - Social Business: Not Just About Collaboration
3 - Social Business' New Role
4 - Tapping Behavioral Data to Drive Decision-Making
5 - The Rise of the Individual and "Marketing as a Service"
6 - Social Takes on Talent Management
7 - Customer-Activated Social Enterprise to Drive Innovation
8 - True Convergence
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IBM's 2014 Social Business Outlook: From 'Liking' to Leading

by Darryl K. Taft

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Social Business: Not Just About Collaboration

Social is no longer just about collaboration; it's about unlocking the engines of collective knowledge, differentiated expertise and rapid learning. Social enables businesses to break down organizational and hierarchal silos and barriers. It provides employees an opportunity to share knowledge and locate expertise. In 2014, we'll see social transform into an organization's enablement and learning platform.

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Social Business' New Role

Social's new role will be helping to build a smarter enterprise. For example, doctors at Boston Children's Hospital are already moving in this direction with social; physicians across the globe are sharing peer-reviewed training videos and on-demand curricula to demonstrate the latest life-saving techniques in child care, building an ecosystem of well-trained health care professionals.

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Tapping Behavioral Data to Drive Decision-Making

In the past, business has relied on instrumented data—machine-generated data—to help drive decision-making. With the emergence of social and all the activity taking place over social networks, both internal and external, we now have access to behavioral data that is allowing organizations to analyze sentiment, and listen and learn from customer experiences and behaviors.

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The Rise of the Individual and "Marketing as a Service"

For most organizations, social networking has been a marketing machine, providing the ability to build armies of advocates for your brand. As we enter into the next phase of social, it will be less about how many "likes" you can get and more focused on the quality of those likes and who is doing the liking. Looking at customers as individuals instead of segments, marketers will now be able to deliver personalized experiences customized to individual or community needs.

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Social Takes on Talent Management

Similar to how marketers will personalize consumers' experiences, human resource departments will also begin to capitalize on the power of social by integrating it into their human capital management systems in order to deepen loyalty and engagement with employees. In 2014, we'll begin to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, why they stay with an organization and much more.

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Customer-Activated Social Enterprise to Drive Innovation

For the past several years, social has been laser-focused on internal collaboration or pushing out messages to clients and partners. In 2014, enterprises of all types will open up to customer influence, pioneering social and digital innovation and building engaging customer experiences. We'll see workplaces and marketplaces fusing together like never before; enterprises will be thinking and acting differently in the context of social.

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True Convergence

This coming year will bring the true convergence of social business, big data, the mobile workforce and cloud computing as "business as usual." An organization's social business platform will become the universal foundation for how the enterprise works and engages in the marketplace. The platform should enable self-service, have process integrity and be accessible any time, any place. As organizations consider which platforms to build their social businesses upon, they will want a platform that is based on SMAC—social, mobile, analytics and cloud.

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