January 25, 2012 09:00 ET

New AIIM Task Force Research Shows That Enterprise Social Technology Gets Work Done

Research Scientist Andrew McAfee and the AIIM Task Force Track the Adoption Rate of Social Business and Reveal Social Business/Enterprise 2.0 Best Practices for Three Key Business Engagement Models

SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwire - Jan 25, 2012) - AIIM, the global community of information professionals, today announced the release of a three-part white paper series, titled "When Social Meets Business Real Work Gets Done," authored by Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Digital Business and the AIIM Task Force on Social Business and Innovation.

The research, conducted over the past six months, revealed that companies are realizing significant, measurable benefit from the adoption of social technologies in the areas of marketing and sales, open innovation and enterprise Q&A, which is defined as the capability to let people ask and answer questions companywide. Despite the growth of external social networks for personal use, the adoption of similar social business technologies has lagged.

Based on this new research, businesses may want to re-consider this "wait and see" approach toward social business. The key findings included:

  • More than 60 percent of firms who did invest in collaborative frameworks achieved big gains in knowledge sharing and communication accuracy between marketing and sales.

  • Open innovation delivers beneficial changes to both internal processes and external products, and is meeting the expectations of its sponsors. Open innovation helped realize major changes to the internal processes of 48 percent of responders and to the external offerings of 34 percent of responders.

  • A 60 percent satisfaction rate was reported for organizations with a rewards-based enterprise-wide Q&A. Respondents said high-quality answers often come from unexpected sources indicating that social tools are cultivating advanced knowledge sharing.

"All three areas addressed by the Task Force demonstrate that when people engage properly with each other and with technology, trust, self-organization, and good business results emerge," says Dr. McAfee. "The three use cases are true examples of social business because they depend on people with strong, weak and potential ties to organize their own workflows, roles and credentials."

Recommendations include "socializing" marketing and sales assets to reduce search costs and redundant work; focusing open innovation environments to improve both products and processes; and adopting enterprise Q&A structures that are frictionless, to remove company-wide communication hurdles.

"We are clearly moving into a new phase in social technologies, one in which the critical success factor will be the integration of social technologies into key organizational processes," according to AIIM President, John Mancini. "The end objective should not be to simply set up social networks inside our organizations, but to actually make our organizations social. There is still a lot of work to be done to fulfill this potential, but the three use cases suggest that significant progress is happening inside business."

The "When Social Meets Business Real Work Gets Done" research papers on Connecting Sales and Marketing, Fostering Innovation and Enterprise Q&A are available to the public for download at:

Led by Andrew McAfee, the task force, launched in June 2011, included 18 executives from social business and content management companies. Its mandate was to study the implementation of social technologies in business and focus on three areas demonstrating success. The research included survey data published in the recent AIIM Industry Watch on Social Business Systems - Success Factors for Enterprise 2.0 Application. This 2011 Task Force built upon the 2010 Task Force, led by Geoffrey Moore, that resulted in the ground-breaking paper "Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT," named in Forbes as the "Best Social Media Idea of 2011."

About Andrew McAfee
Andrew McAfee ( is a Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Digital Business, part of the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, MA. McAfee is a researcher, writer, and teacher about technology's impact on the world of business. His book, "Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for your Organization's Toughest Challenges," was published in late 2009 by Harvard Business Publishing.

About AIIM
AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for nearly 70 years. The association's mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.

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