The 3rd Platform: Social Goes Inside

Where is the Current Tech Evolution Embedding Social?  

When thinking about the third platform, a good analogy is the original social technology: the good old telephone. Remember that, ring-a-ling?

In the first generation of phones (and in old TV shows), people had to ‘go to’ the dial-up phone—as it was mounted on the wall, or in a public phone booth, or in the local general store to make a two-way voice call. In the next-generation of wireless telecommunication services, we were able to take our phone with us, throw it in our purse, or tuck it away in our pocket. Now, in the third-generation of telephony, the actual phone device has morphed into an array of devices on which we can converse, including car stereos and watches.

In much the same way that telecom services became embedded in digital devices of our third-platform generation, so it will be with social technologies and services.

The Future of Social is Embedded in the Cloud

It’s predicted that social technologies will become increasingly integrated into existing applications for the next year or so. Then social will become de facto in future cloud apps. According to IDC, social networking services will become “standard within cloud platforms, from Platform as a Service (PaaS) players like IBM, Oracle, SAP,, and Amazon.”

Instead of “Social” Apps, All Apps Will Be Social  

Last year, Deloitte predicted over 90% of Fortune 500 companies would have partially or fully implemented an enterprise social network by the end of 2013. “An ESN is an internal workplace that streamlines communication among co-workers,” explains Mashable social media expert Jess Fee. “They give employees a sense of online community and help forge connections between departments, especially within larger corporations.”

This year, IDC predicts that standalone enterprise social networks (ESNs)  will become extinct and “go the way of the BlackBerry” as they become embedded in every application through the PaaS—bringing people and information together in real time, and in a workflow context.

More Innovation Means More Traffic
from Every Direction

Growing ever increasingly popular, innovation management processes are actually built on a foundation of social networks and technologies; they leverage customer networks to feed the development of new products to meet consumer needs, wants and desires. With enterprise social networks (ESNs) deeply embedded in the process of Innovation Management, the shift we can anticipate in our economy is from a “make and sell” to a “sense and respond” business model, according to the experts at IDC.

And as a recent Huffington Post article points out, this accelerated focus on innovation means “Everything will speed up. Processes, functions, data, inventory turns, and speed to market.” What do you think that increased speed of business will do to your network?

Getting Ready—Prepare Your Infrastructure for the Onslaught of Social

And if you’d like to dive deeper: Check out this great article from the McKinsey Quarterly: Building the Social Enterprise if you’re interested in learning ways your company can adapt and  realize some of that vast potential social technologies promise—to engage and empower employees through a dynamic, integrated cultural-change that’s heralded to drive productivity, innovation, and collaboration.