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It’s about the adoption, stupid!

As 2011 ended, we took a look back at the articles on Enterprise 2.0 in 2011 to see how it faired during last year and a looked forward to the predictions in 2012. After reading many of them, one point happens to be crucial: Adoption.

Worrying about adoption makes you put technology, features, and strategies aside to ask yourself: will the end-user change the way they have been working for years and become a better worker? This is the central question. Will my employees effectively use these new tools? Will they adopt these technologies on a daily basis and improve their efficiency and achieve their current business goals?

In a quite provocative blog post, analyst Alan Lepofsky predicts that

“2012 will be the year employees start hating social software.”

He is clearly pointing his finger at the importance of adoption and how painfully complex products will make employees suffer rather than aiding their work.

“The problem is social tools are causing just as many problems as they are solving and people are getting frustrated” says Lepofsky.

2011 also has been the year that many companies sadly discovered that adoption turned out being really expensive. In a recent conference held in Paris, I heard an IDC analyst say that for each dollar that companies expended in social software, they had to spend 20 in “change management” which means making people really use that technology. That is just insane!

But wait… why don´t employees adopt technology that they have already used in the consumer arena? Why do the same employees hate their corporate social network, but love their Facebook and LinkedIn?

Let’s be honest… It is because corporate social software failed to deliver the same user experience as consumer software. Employees require simple, well-conceived and responsive systems. If they don’t have it, they will keep working the old way.

An article in CMSWire recently put simplicity as the main success factor for social business software.

“As we head into the home stretch of 2011, business leaders and analysts are beginning to think about how to successfully navigate Enterprise 2.0 initiatives in 2012. Among the countless conversations, articles and conferences, one consistent message can be found: Keep it simple.”

This advice is clearly supported by the evidence that “complexity kills.” Furthermore, “Communities Collapse Under the Weight of Features”.

Lepofsky also puts user experience as one of the 2012 social software predictions:

“Surprise surprise, people care about what things look like and how they function.”

In Beezy, we take user experience very seriously. Simplicity is at the heart of our software. We focus on delivering the features that really matter. We want employees to love their corporate social network. We want employees to adopt Beezy, because it makes their daily work more effective and fun. Not because their company is spending lots of money in “change management”. That’s why our own prediction for 2012 will be a great year for Beezy and for the Beezy users 😉

Happy 2012!

Maximo Castagno
Product Manager

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