By Jeanette Horan
As technology advances, enterprises are increasingly challenged to find creative ways to use tech to improve their operations and grow their business. It can seem like a daunting challenge. But I’d like to share a bit of wisdom that IBM has come to learn. That is, sometimes, looking within and tapping the creativity of your own family, can produce an endless stream of innovative ideas.
Today, IBM kicks off HackDay, a two-day online discussion that gives our employees the chance to think big and exchange ideas on how we can accelerate IBM’s transformation into a social business. This includes everything from new tools and work processes to fresh ideas on how to deliver value to IBM clients in a connected world.
As IBM’s CIO, I am excited about HackDay because getting thousands of talented IBMers together to collaborate is a powerful opportunity with limitless potential. One of the most important responsibilities of my organization is to help IBM and IBMers work more effectively and realize our full potential. It is great to know that the ideas generated over the next two days will come from the real experts – the people who put technology to work every day in their diverse jobs.
The specific challenges we are framing HackDay around are How We Work, The Client Experience, and Code and Technology. A fourth category covers anything not included in the first three. The topic names underscore the importance of technology in all that we do inside IBM and with our clients.
I chose to sponsor the How We Work challenge, not only because my job focuses on the employee experience and operational excellence, but because of the social business transformation potential of our many business processes. Rethinking existing processes through a social business lens is already delivering returns for IBM, as we have seen benefits in sales, marketing and product development by increasing the level of collaboration and real-time communication among employees. Moving forward, we are integrating social into the fabric of all our work — finance, procurement, business partner activities, HR, supply chain and many other areas.
Expanding social business in the enterprise is more than just a cool thing to do – it is rapidly becoming essential to success. This is truly a game-changer in the way we work within our own walls as well as the experience we create for our clients.
In order to grow as an enterprise, IBM believes it must always find ways to improve both structurally and culturally, while unlocking creativity and innovation in its employees. Today, I am encouraging every IBMer to see HackDay as an opportunity to re-think IBM’s business processes and interactions as being more open and community-based than they have ever been. In this way, we can envision benefits from the digital age that might not have been considered before.
The message is this: Ask yourself, “how could adding a social dimension to this process or task deliver new value?” Then take that answer, go forth and build your solution.
I can’t wait to see what we come up with.
What promise does social computing hold for your business?