Friday, April 30, 2010


Enterprise Architecture: Social CRM (Part Two)

I previously blogged on Social CRM and its effect on the enterprise ecosystem. Today, I will share human perspectives and things your IT executives need to noodle regarding social CRM...

OK, so on the chance that your enterprise is a leader and not a follower, you are probably thinking a lot about social media and how to integrate it into your enterprise architecture. One of the troubling aspects of social media is that the enterprise is no longer in control of the conversation for either its customers or even its employees. Does your enterprise have a strategy to empower coworkers by providing them with inspiration to exercise their calling or is it to stifle conversation?

We have all heard about the challenges of IT aligning with the business and how enterprise architecture requires listening to the business. The funny thing about this mantra is that enterprise architects now have a greater ability to directly listen to the conversations of customers and bypass the business and the overdistillation and misdirection that occurs. Sadly, the vast majority of enterprise architects are focusing on anything that matters to the customer.

So, its time for enterprise architecture to show leadership when it comes to social media but the best example of leadership isn't in hiding behind the corporate veneer but to figure out how to remove barriers from allowing outsiders to talk with insiders. Leaders in the social media space have realized that real leadership requires you to acknowledge that you are a human being first and a leader second.

Much of the mantra of leadership within large enterprises occurs through the one-way flow of information to their target audience. This requires not just changes in culture related to awareness of capitalism, but the elimination of senses of class and rank within the enterprise. Does the customer care if you are a manager, director or VP or do they care to simply find someone who can solve their challenge?

On too many occasions, whenever a new concept emerges in the marketplace, enterprises immediately run out and hire the boutique consultancy of the day to have them create a strategy. In the new world, this is probably the biggest mistake you can make. Don't outsource thinking around social media, but instead figure out ways to embrace it. What prevents each and every member of the enterprise architecture team from making social media personal to them? Wouldn't your strategy be much better if you understand social media from the perspective of the user...

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