The use of social media tools and techniques in a business context (aka, social business, enterprise social collaboration, social media and collaboration, Enterprise 2.0, the social enterprise, etc.) crossed a threshold somewhere about the middle of 2011. It went from being something that leading edge organizations are doing to something that nearly every organization needs to do…and fast. All of us Enterprise 2.0 practitioners have been saying for a while now that this day would come, and certainly the writing has been on the wall for some time across a number of industries. But I’m here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that that day has finally come: Enterprise 2.0 is an expected part of how businesses need not only to interact with their customers but also to run their operations.

This doesn’t mean that all (or even most) organizations are mature (or even maturing) Enterprise 2.0 shops. In fact, in terms of what’s actually happening on the ground on this side of the threshold, in many ways, it doesn’t look too different from what came before. But the key difference is that nearly every organization I run across out in the wider world is taking Enterprise 2.0 seriously and working hard to figure it out—hopefully before their competitors do.

One of the main challenges facing organizations looking to adopt Enterprise 2.0 is compliance, i.e., how to do business using social media tools and techniques while adhering to applicable industry laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines. On the one hand, you’ve got Enterprise 2.0 technology vendors who only very recently (if at all) began addressing compliance in their products; on the other, you’ve got regulators, who, with some notable exceptions, have not yet addressed social media tools and techniques in their regulations. And in the middle you have organizations trying to chart a path to Enterprise 2.0—not an enviable position to be in.

But it’s potentially a very profitable one. Consider this: if compliant Enterprise 2.0 is so difficult given the state of current technology and regulation, then there are huge returns waiting for those organizations able to clear this particular barrier to entry. Having navigated the uncharted waters of how to use non-compliant technology to do business with customers in ways that comply with as yet published regulation, such organizations will find themselves with few peer firms and a wealth of customers excited to do business in ways that match their expectations. And their peers who sat on the sidelines waiting for things to get easier or who failed to solve the compliance challenge will have lost significant ground and find themselves having to play catch up in the Enterprise 2.0 space—also not an enviable position to be in.

So, what do you all think: any of you at an organization that crossed the Enterprise 2.0 threshold last year? Or that hasn’t yet? Jump in and share your experiences, and let’s get the conversation started.

Source: AIIM

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