I wanted to do a quick post to highlight an excellent report by Deloitte, entitled Social Software for Business Performance (PDF, 32 pg). The report argues that while today enterprises primarily measure the “success” of social software by user adoption (on the assumption that if people use it, then it helps business performance), that going forward enterprises will seek to find a more concrete way to measure their return on investment — e.g., by tracking the use of social software to improvement on a key performance metric.
The report further argues that social software has five unique capabilities that can help a business:
- Expertise identification.
- Facilitating cross-boundary communication
- Preserving institutional memory
- Harnessing distributed knowledge
- Opportunity discovery
One of the better graphics in the report is this heatmap, which shows which capabilities are delivered by which type of social software.
If you’re interested in social software (e.g. Jive, Yammer, Socialtext, wikis in general) and its impact on the enterprise, then this report is a must-read.