The concept of social as in described in the term social media is often treated as something isolated from other things within organizations. However if you want to get the full benefits from social you should not see it as a collection of tools or as something that is only about customer interaction. Social is as a design principle. It is a logical design principle if compare it to other design principles such as open architectures, service orientation and cloud.
Social starts as soon as you start your design
Open architectures, service orientation and cloud are things you keep in mind while designing your solution and or your applications. However social is most often forgotten, it is added afterwards or it is introduced as a separate silo. Thinking of social beyond the implementation and treating it is a design principle will help you in designing a different kind of solutions. Providing you with the advantage that the social transformation is coming from the start of the design, instead of after the introduction. This helps you and your organization to move the traditional enterprise to a more social business.
Applying social as a design principle is going beyond ‘being great’ on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. It is a fundamental change in how business are being run, organized and how businesses and their stakeholders interact and think. Shifting from thinking about social as something to implement in the end to seeing social as the starting point for every design will lead to a big change and it will lead to big benefits.
If you start designing your processes and application as social by default you’ll see that solutions are likely to become more flexible and connected. It will create more value than in the traditional silo approach and it will help to connect the dots between people, processes and systems. Since social is not only about human interaction but also about the interaction between humans and systems. Friending your ERP system and get status updates on your social platform has already become reality.
Introducing social as a design principle often requires more than just a bright mind suggesting it. It requires a change in the way of thinking and it impacts the way you run your business. In the end it requires a social transformation that requires attention and time in order to make sure that social is not only a design principle but also a principle you are able to execute on.