The mounting importance of social business

August 21st, 2013 by Deloitte Digital | EnterpriseSocialStrategy

How are businesses using social tools and techniques in the market today? In the following interview, Doug Palmer, Deloitte Digital Social Lead, shares his perspective on the recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte on social business. He also includes thoughts on how companies can benefit from the findings.

How are businesses using social tools and techniques in the market today? The latest global study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte set out to answer that question and provide insight into today’s social business landscape, including how some businesses are reaping its value and what holds others back from doing so.

The findings—based on the survey of more than 2,500 respondents from 25 industries and 99 countries, and a series of in-depth interviews with nearly three dozen executives and social business thought leaders—were released in Social Business Report: Shifting Out of First Gear.

In the following interview, Doug Palmer, Deloitte Digital Social Lead, Deloitte Consulting LLP, shares his perspective on the recent study, and how companies can benefit from the findings.

Why did you feel this research focus was important now?

Doug: There has been a rapid adoption of technology-based social networking that has been transforming social norms and politics around the world for the past decade. Our clients were starting to ask more questions about how it may affect their business, and the interest was across multiple industries. By teaming with MIT Sloan Management Review, we were able to look both across industries as well as at what was happening in the C-suite. How was the CEO engaged? How was the CIO playing a major role? What were the roles of CMOs and CFOs going to be?

What were some of the specific findings that we pulled from this?

Doug: I think one of the findings that jumped out is that the importance of social business is mounting. When compared to last year’s study, twice as many respondents categorized social as important today, and what’s more—this was true across all industries we surveyed. None of the industries remained at the same level or reversed course.

The report title, “Shifting out of first gear” implies that organizations face challenges in gaining momentum from their social business initiatives. Can you talk about how companies are applying social business to gain value?

Doug: We found that companies are developing more mature social business capabilities by focusing on specific business challenges. Sixty-five percent of respondents are using social business tools to understand market shifts in areas like consumer preferences. And 45 percent turn to it to improve visibility into its own operations by enabling communications about issues in real-time to address immediate challenges and build knowledge over the long term. Still others are leveraging social to identify internal talent. We found that companies are developing more mature social business capabilities by focusing their efforts on these types of business challenges.

Join us for the 2013 Social Media Strategies Summit!

Find out more about the results of the survey in the social business report. For a little live action on this topic, Doug will speak about the research findings at the 2013 Social Media Strategies Summit, September 17-19, in Boston. Dig a discount? Use the code TDDEL20 when you register.

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