IBM Center for Applied Insights
Ellen Cornillon 110000K9SX firstname.lastname@example.org 477 Visits
Susanne Hupfer 2700006BQ0 Susanne_Hupfer@us.ibm.com Tags:  social_software social-networking social-software social_networking social-business ibmcai social_business social 983 Visits
Client Insights, Consultant
IBM Center for Applied Insights
If you've paid attention to the business press this past year, you've no doubt heard all about the potential benefits of social software to the enterprise (improved organizational collaboration, transparency, decision-making, and innovation). Maybe you're seriously considering deploying enterprise social software and becoming a "social business." If so, you'll be in good company: organizations that outperform financially are 57% more likely to allow their people to use social and collaborative tools. We outline these benefits in our recent short paper: Social is great! So, now what?
But you may be wondering what to expect once you roll out social software to your organization. An IBM Research study of social networking inside a large enterprise may hold some clues.
In 2007, IBM launched an experimental internal social networking site for employees -- SocialBlue (once-upon-a-time known as Beehive) -- that was designed to blur the boundaries between professional and personal, and business and fun. The site capabilities included customizable user profiles, status messages, "friending" of people, photo and list sharing, and commenting (on profiles, photos, lists). Through interviews and quantitative analysis of usage logs, the researchers set about studying the adoption, usage, motivations, and impact of social networking in the workplace.
The results were fascinating. Within a year of launch, upwards of 30,000 employees had opted in to use the site. We all know that, on personal social networking sites such as Facebook, we tend to connect to friends and acquaintances -- the people we already know. So you might guess that employees using enterprise social software would mainly want to connect to their immediate coworkers... but you'd be wrong. Employees instead used the site to meet new colleagues and also to connect and keep up with "weak ties" -- colleagues they didn't know well or weren't in regular communication with. They hoped to strengthen these ties in case they needed to call upon those connections later.
Why were all those thousands of IBMers connecting and sharing? It turns out they were Caring, Climbing, and Campaigning:
Caring: Interviews showed that employees enjoyed connecting on a social level with their colleagues. One user explained: "[the system] helps me connect to people personally, which helps me to like these people more, which makes me want to work with them." Another explained that, with teams becoming increasingly distributed and lacking everyday, face-to-face contact, the system "added that interpersonal relationship back in."
Climbing: A subset of users deliberately used the system as a career advancement tool. Techniques included becoming a visible expert on a topic by participating in professional conversations, and also strategically "friending" upper management.
Campaigning: Some users leveraged the system as a platform for promoting and gaining support for their ideas and projects. Due to the flat, cross-divisional nature of the system, some noted that putting an idea out there might garner attention and support from an executive in a way that would be harder to achieve through traditional, hierarchical corporate channels.
Today, 400k+ IBMers continue to connect to one another and care, climb, and campaign using the IBM Connections product, which was influenced by the research work on SocialBlue.
There are two other important "C's" you'll want to carefully consider when you deploy social software to your enterprise: Capabilities and Culture.
Capabilities: The capabilities of an enterprise social networking system have a direct impact on the kind of usage you're going to see. For instance, if SocialBlue hadn't allowed commenting on others' profiles and content, much of the casual, conversational, watercooler-ish nature of the site would not have been possible.
Culture: If your enterprise is multi-national and globally integrated, you'll need to take geographic needs and behavior into account. Users from different geographies and cultures perceive different benefits from enterprise social software and participate at varying levels and in different ways. The "corporate culture" that your organization promotes is also fundamental to becoming a social business, and will drive how your employees make use of social software and what they do with it.
What have you seen as the biggest barriers to adoption or benefits realized within your organizations?
Ellen Cornillon 110000K9SX email@example.com Tags:  public_safety roi outcomes ems disaster_response fire police smarter_planet efficiency roi-for-smart law_enforcement benefits 984 Visits
John Reiners (profile)
Government Leader - IBM Center for Applied Insights
Last week, IBM hosted several U.S. Congressmen, their support teams, and media on Capitol Hill on the theme "IBM's Smarter States: How Tech Innovations Will Impact the Future of Government."
At the event, public safety was discussed as one of the areas of opportunity. We have recently published our research into the ROI of smarter public safety.
Our research, carried out over several months last year, looked at new approaches to public safety being adopted by agencies around the world, in law enforcement, fire, EMS, and disaster response. It presents the growing evidence of tangible benefits that these new approaches are delivering. You can check out a summary of the results in the study report. You and your colleagues can also access a Benefit Estimator, which can apply the research findings to calculate the potential benefits for your own organization.
I was asked the other day to summarise what we found out from our research, beyond the results presented in the report. There is always more to say than will fit in a single report! That question got me thinking, however, because the lessons learned during this research project probably apply equally to other areas of government and indeed other industries facing rapid technological change. So, here are my top 5 lessons learned:
There is a natural tendency to prefer this last one, as it offers the promise of cost saving & improved service levels as well as keeping control of operations. Though because investment is needed, it may be harder to secure the funds needed unless a convincing case can be made.
So do these points resonate with other areas of government and other industries? and what are the implications? For example, how can we move to a more sophisticated debate on how to invest in smarter approaches that:
Derek Franks 1100007YTJ firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  roi-for-smart for state industry insights ibm_center_for_applied_in... center analytics of retail applied state-of-smart smarter_analytics smarter_retail smart ibm 1,386 Visits
Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
Welcome! This is the first post in a series of articles I’ll be writing over the coming months that delve a bit deeper into some of the more interesting findings from our State of Smart research here at the IBM Center for Applied Insights. Today we’ll be discussing some of the interesting data points for the retail industry including some surprising findings about CRM.
If you’re not familiar with our State of Smart work, an overview of our research and findings can be found in our Executive Report. We surveyed over 1100 executives worldwide across 9 industries to determine their organizations’ information and analytics capabilities (we refer to these capabilities as “listen” and “anticipate”). We found that organizations with these capabilities significantly outperformed their peers: 1.6x revenue growth, 2x EBITDA growth, and 2.5x stock price appreciation over a five year period. Not bad, huh?
But this only tells part of the story. We also asked these enterprises about where they realize value from analytics and how they deploy “listen” and “anticipate” capabilities. So let’s dig into the retail data a bit deeper.
For our purposes, we’re going to refer to retailers in the top right quadrant as “Outperformers” and everybody else as “Others”. Only 29% of retailers are Outperformers. About 62% of retailers have a high level of “listen” capabilities while only 38% of retailers have a high level of “anticipate” capabilities.
What this tells us is that retailers are pretty good at “Listening” – i.e. capturing data. By and large, most retailers have done a good job of laying down an information foundation. However, a much smaller proportion of those retailers are then translating that data into actionable insights.
So we know that retailers have room to improve when it comes to leveraging the data that they capture. What other interesting insights did we uncover?
For starters, as you might expect from the high “listen” capabilities, retail Outperformers are very good at capturing different types of data. Specifically, 84% of Outperformers capture data at every customer interaction (this was the highest % across any industry we surveyed). The 'data at every customer interaction' spread between outperformers and others is 2.2x, the second highest gap among the nine industry categories.
Additionally, the 56% of the Outperformers captured unstructured data versus 35% of the Others. Essentially the Outperformers are looking beyond individual transaction data and are mining social media, weather patterns, etc to drive more robust information for applied decision making.
The Outperformers then leverage this information to drive actionable insights about their customers. For example, 84% of Outperformers (vs 38% of Others) use their information and analytics capabilities to recommend actions to customers. This can take the form of both customer facing recommendations, such as cross-selling or up-selling opportunities, or internal actions such as identifying next best actions to convert abandoned baskets or reactivate a dormant customer.
The holy grail of retailers has long been to develop deep insights about customers from a variety of data sources and then use these insights to drive actions that positively impact the customer experience and consequently improve their top and bottom line. Our data shows that the Outperformers are doing just that.
What we’ve talked about so far is fairly intuitive. However in the course of analyzing the State of Smart data we saw several things that intrigued us. For instance, found that only 36% of Outperformers vs 31% of Others realized value from customer relationship management. We expected the overall percentages to be higher and gap to be wider. The data suggest several things. First, the true value of CRM has likely not yet been realized by most retailers. Second, the outperformers haven’t yet found a way to drive the additional insights they’ve been generating into their CRM practices.
Hopefully you found this deep dive into our State of Smart retail industry data to be interesting and useful. If you're interested in calculating the potential impact that developing your "listen" and "anticipate" capabilities can have on your business, I suggest you take a quick look at our Smarter Merchandising and Smarter Shopping Experience toolsets. We've developed online calculators that let you quickly and easily get an idea of the potential economic benefits that leveraging analytics can have for your organization.
I’ll be posting more deep dive articles over the next few months. Check back next next week for a deep dive into the banking industry data. If you have any questions about this article or requests for future articles, please feel free to let me know.