#sbf12 : The nature of social software

These are the slides of the presentation I made during the Social Business Forum 2012 in Milano, a party organised by Open Knowledge and the relentless and talented Emanuele Quintarelli. Many, many thanks to him for giving this opportunity to speak in such a great international event.

The problem I had was : how can I bring a fresh perspective on the topic baring in mind that 1) I’m only an amateur on the subject (I don’t do social business for a living) and 2) I’m an IT guy.

To answer this issue, I positioned the keynote from the IT perspective, a more relevant one as I’ve been for 24 years in the business. So let’s talk about Social Software …

Main ideas :

0. Social Business is business leveraging Social Software to get things done.

1. Social software is the child of love and passion between his dad (Open Source software) and his mum (Agile software methodologies, based on more feminine values than standard management). Completely different animal than standard enterprise software being the offspring of an arranged mariage between roles (CMO and CTO).

2. Social software is centered around the people, which are represented in the IT system by profile and activities. End result : People are integrated into the Information System

3. Social Software provide flows of knowledge (John Hagel) and knowledge management is a by product of social software (Ross Mayfield) : we find people through contents and contents through people.

4. Social Software data are unstructured. This helps to scale and to capture tacit knowledge that remained out of traditional enterprise systems. Besides, while unstructured data complement standard systems structured data, it provides a more comprehensive view of the full processes.

5. Social Software is simple. Which makes it mobile, a humble servant (FR), adaptive, fostering emergence, and most of all, a tool that let emerge company intelligence.

Social Software is a software that (at long last) addresses one of Peter Drucker’s Management challenges of the 21st century (FR) : it allows management and the business to leverage the I (information) as opposed to the T (data) in IT.

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