Posts Tagged ‘social architecture’

Defining the Social CIO

April 30th, 2010

I spoke at SIM Atlanta last week on behalf of the Social Executive Council (SEC) with Dan Webber, CIO at Avery Partners and VP of the SEC. I was the stand in for Judy, who is the President of the SEC. Our discussion was on the difference between Social Media Policies and Social Governance. This was a first part in a series on the Social CIO. It has been amazing to me how receptive CIOs are to the idea of socially enabling the enterprise. As much as I speak and write to the Social CMOs, approximately 1/3 of the SEC members are CIOs. CIOs are an important part of the social enablement movement. I believe a critical one as I do not believe organizations can do this without cross-functional coordination.

For SIM Atlanta, we started the presentation last week with a strong statement about what is a Social CIO:

If you believe that the social disruption will impact the enterprise:

  • Role of CIO and IT must evolve
  • Information management will now encompass the adoption, motivation, and collaboration around the distribution of information.
  • IT Architectures will need to take into account for the fluid nature of social interactions (unstructured) and the overwhelming amount of information (contextualization and filtering) to handle the real-time needs of their organizations
  • The IT organization that can absorb this and lead the transformation will be strengthened within the organization.
  • The IT organizations that cannot keep up will be marginalized.
  • The Social CIO is architect for the social enablement of the enterprise


What we didn’t do last week was outline the areas that will be impacted by the Social CIO, here are the 5 areas that we believe are the starting point:

  • Social Architecture – defining the next generation of information architecture to support the fluid information needs of the socially enabled enterprise
  • Social Experience – building the platform to support the socially enabled customer lifecycle; includes CRM, contact centers, sales and marketing support
  • Social Intelligence – integrating the wealth of behavioral information that is generated within online communities and social interactions. Think the ability to differentiate between browsers and shoppers or better qualify leads.
  • Enterprise Social Search – Defining the ability to find information or expertise across the enterprise. Now add the complexity that the organization may or may not own the information, it may be in the “cloud” and it may be unstructured. How do you build a roadmap to manage the ability for your organization to find stuff in a socially enabled enterprise?
  • Social Governance – It governance is about protecting the information and intellectual property assets of the organization, about bringing a systematic approach to leverage and consuming technology resources, and planning IT initiatives in a structured way. Social governance takes that to the next level in how do you manage structure in an unstructured environment. How do you define IP when the content is user generated? Who owns a relationship when it is done under the corporate aegis, but is done through a personal Linkedin account? Where does personal end and professional begin? You can’t answer these questions till you have a Social Governance plan to map your corporate assets, understand what will be socially enabled, how you will manage the distribution process, measure and monitor it, and make sure that you can effectively communicate responsibilities to it.

Social CIOs are figuring out that they are just at the crawl stage in terms of socially enabling the organization. The good news is that they don’t have to do it alone, as a matter of fact, they aren’t alone, and they are in good company as most companies are still crawling. The real problem for Social CIOs is that many of their companies are starting to walk and run in social marketing. If they don’t get their social architectural planning established quickly, they may find the resulting unstructured chaos may become permanent.