The Architecture Of A Social Business

The Architecture Of A Social Business

A bird’s-eye view of social business today then, from an architectural perspective, can give us a detailed sense of what we’re dealing with. Hard questions can be answered: What platforms and systems are involved in the transformation to social business? How are they connected? Are the systems of record connected to the systems of engagement? In what way? Where is social data stored, how is it structured, and how can best can we analyze and derive insight from it? And so on. These sorts of questions can be addressed by creating an architectural view for your organization that makes sense of the social technology onslaught, for there’s really no better word for what’s happening today.

To help organizations get started, I’ve provided above a notional and non-industry specific view of the high-level architecture of a social business. This view contains most of the key elements for the typical organization and how they are connected. It’s not a process view; architecture is primarily concerned about structural concepts and how they are related. For a dynamic perspective over time, I’ve explored the virtuous social business cycle before, though individual social business processes will all have their own unique and socially co-created workflow.

Instead, this is about the nouns, something I’ve explored at an even higher level with a enumeration of what is contained in the social business stack, a useful way of cross-checking the total palette that a social business effort can pull from.

The architectural view presented here is by definition incomplete and only goes down to a certain level of detail, yet I believe it’s one of the most updated views of social business architecture available. Some of the elements that have been incorporated, such as unified communication, will be slightly controversial, yet if they are included here, the element is important and frequently encountered. In fact, the real point is that virtually all aspects of the enterprise will eventually have to reconcile with social in some way. Sometimes this will be almost automatic and sometimes it will be a major technical, political, or cultural battle. Technology adherence has aspects of religion to it in most organizations. So while the picture presented here looks attractive and compelling, it’s also one that will be far more complex and messier in reality.

This said, creating the picture of the architecture of your social business will help you be more proactive, innovative, and focused, all while also helping you communicate the changes that need to happen in your organization.


The Architecture of a Social Business | Dachis Group Collaboratory

See Also

The Operations of a Social Business | Collaboratory

Moving Beyond Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement | Collaboratory

Connecting Employees to Social Media: New Possibilities | Collaboratory

Choose Your Social Business Strategy Before Your Tools | InformationWeek

The convergence of mobile and social: The next IT battleground | ZDNet

How to up IT’s game with social apps | ZDNet

The Intersection of Digital Strategy, Social Business, and Smart Mobility | Flickr

The Social Business Index | Dachis Group

Social Business By Design | Amazon Hardcover (John Wiley & Sons, 2012)