Social collaboration is not an entirely new concept, but it has the qualities of a technology that can change how people work together.
According to a research sponsored by Avanade, a Microsoft-focused IT consultancy firm that encourages the use of collaboration tools, there is a rising interest in social networking tools for business and commercial enterprises.
Avanade collaboration director Andy Hutchins said enterprise social collaboration tools had a notable increase in interest during the past six months, and it is still rising.
With all the talks and discussions about this hot Silicon Valley buzzword, there are three questions that need answers.
1. What is social collaboration?
2. Is there room for social collaboration in business and commercial enterprises?
3. When did social collaboration come into the picture?
What Social Collaboration Is
Social collaboration concerns methods and practices that help people engage, interact, work together, and share information with each other to accomplish a common goal.
The processes and methods involved have the Internet as a spontaneous environment, in which social collaboration and social distribution of facts and figures are way easier and quicker to implement due to the latest technological innovations.
The sharing of ideas, notions, or concepts using a digital environment for collaboration eases and accelerates brainstorming. As a result, new models and theories may develop because of the contributions from various professionals and individuals.
There is a key concept that supports social collaboration: Ideas are everywhere. People will always have the ability to share ideas, since it is not exclusive to professionals and a significant portion of the public wants to be involved.
Social collaboration often is compared to social networking. These two “social” concepts are not the same, as social collaboration focuses on the group than on the individual.
Social networking usually focuses its efforts on individuals who share messages and other types of content in a rather aimless manner, and receiving different types of messages from various sources into one tailored activity feed or stream of content.
In contrast, social collaboration focuses on finding and forming a group of groups or individuals who collaborate on one particular objective, in which messages are openly broadcasted to members of the group and everyone has the same view of the group activity feed.
Social collaboration may imply collaborations with a clear objective that has to be completed within a certain timeframe, or collaborations wherein the objective is to share knowledge, such as online communities or communities of practice.
Social collaboration is analogous to crowdsourcing, as the latter allows individuals to work and act together to achieve a common goal. For that notion, it appeals to young entrepreneurs.
A Room for Enterprise Social Collaboration
Several platforms use enterprise collaboration through tools such as Microsoft SharePoint, and it contains the data required to determine, track, and evaluate usage patterns of the end user.
Avanade’s Hutchins believes the problem is that only a few people have committed to find ways to bring together those metrics. For example, most Facebook analytics firms track only the basic quantitative measurements: posts, comments, and likes. They never move forward to have a good grasp on how these statistics bear upon collaboration.
Executives and managers who have seen the success of enterprise social collaboration across their organization know this by instinct, but they hardly ever go further than leaderboards and data points packaged with an enterprise social collaboration solution.
Businesses who do not tap into social collaboration are more likely to have lesser visibility on the activities of its people and lesser data about the reasons for their actions.
The History of Social Collaboration
Social collaboration is changing how businesses operate and take advantage of social technologies. These changes would not be possible without a series of technological innovations that transformed the world during the last four decades.
On that note, let this infographic by HighQ take you on a tour from “Hello World” to modern technology.