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    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Business strategy should always lead technology

    There are ongoing discussions ablaze concerning how to label social media technology solutions.  Should they be called Social CRM or Social Business solutions or what have you.

    It’s beneficial to decide on labels so we can all speak a common language so the discussion is important.

    However, the focus on the technology is also a cart before the horse phenomena.

     

    Start with strategy

    The key to success with technology solutions is to first start with understanding business objectives, opportunities and challenges. 

    Next, give consideration to what your employees will need in terms of resources to solve your business problem.  Part of that is likely to be technology. 

    Before you even start designing the spec’s for your technical solution, though, step back and define your business requirements.  What will real people need to accomplish with the technology solution, what is an optimum and efficient user experience for them, what data will they need exposed, etc?

     

    Then comes technology

    If you do a good job of defining the business specs, then the technology solutions will fall right into place – and you’ll accelerate the programming or implementation portion of your solution.

    Combine that with a holistic view of the business and you’ll know the integration path(s) needed across your technology solutions.

    Take this approach and your company will have have successful technology implementations and user adoption.  

     

    Social media business example

    Let’s take social media for example.  That’s the buzz these days -- except that’s the wrong place to start as well.  You need to step back a bit more and start with your corporate objectives for being or becoming a social business. 

    Social business center around collaboration – within your internal teams as well as with your customers and partners.  Collaboration success demands good channels of communication and these will involve a combination of in-person, phone, and online.  Be sure to consider your social business agenda across all your departments.  Social media is about much more than marketing initiatives. 

    Beyond corporate culture is the inevitable question of budgeting.  What can your company afford in terms of resources to support your social business corporate objectives?  Define your business requirements.

    Answer these questions and then you’re ready to start considering technology solution sets to support your social business strategy, objectives, and goals. 

     

    Summary

    Don't mistake me.  I'm a technology lover.  Huge!  Our business is built on providing technology solutions to others and we leverage solutions for our own internal business needs.  

    However, technology is most valuable when it's solving business problems in ways that real people work.  If you start with strategy and move forward, then you'll gain truckloads more from your technology solutions.

    My 2 cents.

     

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