When IT and Business Think Differently About Social-Collaboration

Many employee- and customer-facing digital projects can prove very difficult to pull off, but to paraphrase Tolstoy, each is hard in its own way. Partly it relates to how different "silos" in the organization perceive the key challenges.  The two main protagonists in this drama, Business and IT, are very often not on the same page.

But is there is a way for enterprise leaders to pin-point how and where this Business-IT gap shows up?

Consider the Case of Social-Collaboration

Consider social-collaboration technology, where an analysis of the challenges faced by large organizations provides some useful insights about the Business-IT chasm.

RSG's 2014 survey of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software (get summary here) found that customer satisfaction with social-collaboration technology remains middling and enterprises have not yet achieved a high degree of maturity in leveraging this technology.


Main challenges faced by Business and IT are different

Figure 1: Main challenges faced in Social-Collaboration projects, as seen by Business and IT (Click image for full-size version of the chart).

As you can see from the above chart, Business and IT perceive that their social-collaboration initiatives face different challenges. Along with executive buy-in, business stakeholders consider insufficient staffing, training, and lack of best practices to be their main challenges. Apart from executive buy-in, IT stakeholders tend to perceive a very different set of challenges: lack of user adoption, insufficient governance, and funding shortages.

Among the list of main challenges, only "executive buy-in" appears on both sides of the aisle. Business IT overlap

Figure 2: Executive Buy-in is the only common challenge cited by Business and IT.

Some of This Is Normal

Some tension here is to be expected and maybe even welcomed -- a bit.  IT and Business stakeholders have different jobs so you might expect they bring distinct sets of concerns to digital projects.

However, different stakeholders prioritizing separate challenges may indicate teams pursuing different goals and divergent paths to maturity. They may be trying to solve localized or departmental problems, rather than pursuing enterprise-wide objectives.

Do you experiences similar alignment challenges? Talk to us - we can help untangle complex enterprise social-collaboration initiatives.


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