AIIM, the Association for Information and Image Management, has put out an interesting report, looking at the future of enterprise IT in light of the ways that social media have turned business upside down in just the past few years.
Titled Systems of Engagement and the Future of Enterprise IT, a Sea Change in Enterprise IT, the report can be downloaded here. Given the interests of AIIM, this report spends a lot of time looking at what these changes mean in terms of enterprise content management, but what caught our eye was the way they look at the communications aspects of these changes. It’s all about collaboration and, without their use of the term, Unified Communications.
The systems of engagement, the report says, involve a “third generation” of communications, based on connecting people in real time and smart, geographically-aware mobile devices, overlaid with collaboration capabilities. Sounds like UC, doesn’t it? We think so. Anyway, the report lays out five broad ways that B2B enterprises can leverage these capabilities:
- Make meetings work better across time zones, with collaborative meeting and videoconferencing technologies
- Address complex issues collaboratively, through techniques such as community threads, wikis, blogs, or similar media, with an eye toward collective intelligence and improving an enterprise’s responses to customer issues.
- Keep collaborators connected for faster decision making, evolving collaboration from a document-focused asynchronous activity to a live-session real-time event. That can range from IM and texting to presence awareness, mobile device support, and videoconferencing.
- Mine community content to extract insights to enhance the business, through techniques such as data mining and other forms of analysis.
- View collaboration and social systems in context, the context being the processes that drive the business. Systems need to be structured so that they best support the people who are making decisions and representing the enterprise to its customers.
When it comes to B2C enterprises, the report understandably focuses more on social media and less on the communications aspects, so we’ll let you take a look at that yourself if you want to download the report. But what we found most interesting was that the methodology that this report – from a non-communications-technology organization – prescribed was, essentially, Unified Communications. Clearly, the collaboration, and the fusion of the enterprise’s disparate parts, that UC enables is obvious from many perspectives.