Justifying Social Software

galaxyby NASA /Hubble Heritage Team

Justifying Social Software:
[Via A Journey In Social Media]

It’s true that most organizations won’t move forward with significant investments without some sort of justification.

And it’s also true that the category of “productivity software” is perhaps the most difficult thing to justify.

So, I thought I’d spend this post on the flavors of business value we’re seeing from our internal environment.

How People Think Of Justification

Chuck’s blog is getting to be one of my favorites. His metaphor about boulders vs. sand is absolutely right. It is a nice way to describe a power law curve with its Long Tail. The boulders are the big hits at the left of the curve, what everyone has been used to dealing with applying old style approaches to things like distribution costs. But, various web technologies, especially Web 2.0, have brought the Long Tail to innovation and social networks.

Now, instead of a few big boulders, companies can harness the huge amount of sand present in their organizations. This can be done in ways that not only help employees do their jobs but can also save the company money, enhance its IP portfolio and make the company a better place to work. As Chuck noted, employees really appreciate what the interactive web provides, viewing it as a major company benefit.

If done right, an intranet built on Web 2.0 technologies becomes a way to retain employees as well as attract new ones. Pretty good for something that can be built on OPen Source and could be launched in an afternoon.

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