So Much to Gain, and so much to LOSE!

Like every aspect of business there are always risks, and rewards. Weather we keep it how it is as it seems to be working ok, or do we throw the dice and hope for a seven? Do we stay static in the way we conduct business or do we acknowledge the world is changing and jump on board? Citrix being a technology provider this was not so much as obvious choice but a natural progression. Providing its workers with a space to share experiences and ask questions resulted in a hyper connected and motivated global team that can collaborate with more than just the person in the cubicle next to them.

This however was somewhat of a gamble for them as it would be for any company. Weighing up the associated risks against the potential benefits and ultimately putting a $ value on that. Not just that but every benefit has a risk sporting the same name. You say: “We can share knowledge” and the accountant says: “But who’s controlling it?” Yes its good to have this knowledge out there in cyberspace for all of your workforce to access but how much money are you investing on the necessary measures to keep of this potentially sensitive material safe?

You say: “An increased web presence will boost our reputation.” Then your PR department says: “This opens us up to abuse of the system from both existing and former disgruntled staff.” Tools like Twitter and Facebook fan pages are great, cheap and effective forms of advertising but are generally conducted by a corporate suit with the companies best interests at heart. Facebook in my opinion has NO place in a professional environment and WILL be counter productive. There are tools available like IBM’s SocialBlue that i touched on last week that provide a walled garden for corporate social interactions.

You say: “If we can all chat and socialize then we can build stronger working relationships.” And the CIO says: “How much of that chatting and socializing is going to be work related?” Yes these tools provide a means of collaboration and networking like no other but is it wise to employ web-based mainstream applications? Microsoft’s Sharepoint provides the document collaboration tools that companies need but seriously lacks in the knowledge sharing department.

For these tools to be successful the kind of workforce you employ needs to be assessed and the kind of work ethic your trying to promote. There is a lot of potential benefits to be gained from employing these techniques but as with anything in industry buyer beware. Last weeks INB346 lecture outlined that your reputation and attractiveness as employer by being innovative will attract younger staff but will a Facebook crazed 19yr old be more beneficial to your team then a 54yr old industry veteran that sees this for what it is? So much to gain and yet, so much to lose.