Social Media, Innovation and PPM

The latest issue of CIO magazine features an article titled, Social Media’s Next Frontier, written by senior editor Kim S. Nash The subtitle in the printed version contends integrating social media with enterprise IT calls for a “pioneer’s spirit.” I agree and I liked the articles reference to the hardy and daring Americans who blazed the first trails to the West. But unlike those early pioneers who had to typically “go it on their own,” enterprises can and should install the governance mechanisms to greatly increase the potential for success of today’s business pioneers.

Susan’s article is focused on the challenge of integrating today’s social media capabilities with existing enterprise CRM systems. Taking advantage of social media-fostered business opportunities requires pioneering IT organizations to develop their own interfaces. The pioneer analogy of exploiting the business potential of social media is a point I raise in my latest presentation focusing on enterprise agility and innovation.

In the presentation I highlight the advent of four of the innovations dominating industry conversation today: cloud computing; virtualization; agile development; and social media. I note how practically every IT organization is investing or at least dabbling in cloud computing, virtualization, and agile development, while many continue to drag their feet on enterprise use of social media or block its use entirely. In doing so, they are forgoing untold business value even while members of their organizations are becoming more and more adept and dependent on social media. A FaceTime Communications survey of 1,654 IT managers and end users in early 2010 showed 62% of IT professionals estimated social networking was present on their networks. Actual data from deployed appliances showed social networking was present 100% of the time.

Social media is only going to grow in prominence and significance and the IT organizations enabling the exploration and exploitation of its potential will give their enterprises advantages over any competitor who doesn’t. In addition to fostering the pioneering spirit required to brave the new frontier of social media, enterprises must install the governance mechanisms providing the decision engine to enable any and all innovation – project and portfolio management (PPM) is that decision engine.

PPM provides the breeding ground to foster innovation and capture new ideas. PPM provides the means to review new ideas and to sponsor those offering the greatest promise. PPM provides the means to shepherd new ideas to fruition and ensure their delivery of business value. PPM also provides the means to identify the ideas that go wrong and to kill them as early as possible so unspent investment can be reallocated to the next new idea.

Is your enterprise asking everyone in your organization how social media might be used to deliver business value? Do you have a home for any new idea and the processes to drive innovation? Do you have the investment governance in place to quickly decide if an idea should be done and can be done? Do you have the ability to determine if your new ideas are on track to deliver results? Do you have the means to determine if your new ideas ultimately delivered desired business value? If not, sound PPM is the answer. Your pioneers depend on it.

Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist

Article source: CA ITGovernance Blog

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