In IT’s early years, “network” signified technology and infrastructure, with a focus on computing devices. Performance was measured in desktops linked, servers up and gigabytes stored.
In our current age, a powerful new network is growing around people, as colleagues separated by space and time work fluidly with each other.
They’re linking across a global enterprise to solve increasingly complex problems, with performance measured in brains engaged and creative connections that generate bright ideas.
At its core is a simple belief: the more your people collaborate, the more powerful your performance is bound to be.
Over the past seven years, we pursued an aggressive collaboration initiative devoted to using technology to connect our people more effectively.
We initially concentrated on Office Communicator, Lync and video conferencing. Then, in 2013, our CIO Organization shifted to social collaboration tools.
In 2014, we introduced the Stream as a way to funnel content from different channels into a single feed. With an average of 18,000 Stream “events” every day, our professionals have embraced the opportunity to share ideas informally.
It’s not enough to just “build it and they will come.” Who really wants another channel to check? Instead, we aim to move beyond stand-alone tools and embed social-driven collaboration directly into core business processes.
The returns on social collaboration remain unclear. For now, usage must serve as a proxy for performance. Still, this is one leap of faith worth taking.