Social networking in business has been receiving quite a bit of press lately with many differing views on just what should or should not be allowed, or how to use various social networking tools now available. I ran into an interesting read in an article “Social networking in business: Avoid the ‘Kumbaya Zone‘. Now, the ‘Kumbaya Zone’ is a new term for me, and the article refers to it as “…the place where social media is ultimately a time-waster and has little business value”.
Now I don’t want to get into any do’s or don’ts about social media – nor do I think that it would be wise for me to do so — but what I do want to address is that perhaps many of us have seen applications which appear to become time-wasters with little business value, I certainly have. They may be the “old” application never replaced, or they may be an application for which users have developed so many work-arounds to have it fit that there is much time wasted. Either way, the application has little business value.
The referenced article ends with the statement “Get comfortable taking that first step, and see what works along the way. That is way different from the software model we’re used to.” Now, I certainly agree with the first sentence concept of getting comfortable and seeing what works – and while the article specifically is talking about social media, I would posit that this is an approach worth considering for any new application. As for being a different software model than we’re used to, I must say that working with my customers we’ve been able to create an environment where we do to a large degree follow the concept – it doesn’t have to be “…way different…” than we’re used to.