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April 3, 2013

Most social initiatives fail due to lack of purpose: Gartner

But social technologies are employed by 70% of organisations

By CBR Staff Writer

Most of the social collaboration initiatives adopted by organisations fail in absence of clear purpose and due to a ‘provide and pray’ approach, resulting in only a 10% success rate. That’s according to a new report from Gartner.

Gartner group vice president Anthony Bradley said without a well-crafted and compelling purpose, most social media initiatives will fail to deliver business value.

"This ‘provide and pray’ approach provides access to a social collaboration technology and prays something comes good of it, like a community forming and participants’ interactions naturally delivering business value," Bradley said.

"As a result, this approach sees a 10 percent success rate, and the underlying reason is usually that the organisation did not provide a compelling cause around which a community could form and be motivated to provide their time and knowledge. In other words, purpose was lacking."

As part of the research, Gartner surveyed the social collaboration initiatives of about 1,000 organisations and revealed that social collaboration initiatives with a clear and compelling use from the outset do have a tendency to succeed.

"Organisations approaching social collaboration in the ‘provide and pray’ manner do not fully recognize the value of purpose and do not understand how to take an ‘architected’ approach to it," Bradley said.

"Social collaboration efforts are a challenge for which enterprise architects are well suited, as these practitioners are often cross-disciplinary."

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"They are able to work with social initiative leaders to define community purposes and condense these purposes into a strategy or road map which they can use to guide project teams during implementation."

Additionally, Gartner suggests the enterprise architects initially assist organisations to recognise and define the target community for social collaboration, and then identify the nature of the collaboration and the required business outcome.

"A well-defined purpose identifies who the participants are, what specific issue they are collaborating around, what value they will gain for themselves, and what value will be provided to the organisation," Bradley said.

Gartner has found five characteristics of a good purpose to assist enterprise architects including participant magnetism, community draw, organisational value, low community risk and promoting evolution.

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