In the McKinsey Quarterly article, Eight business technology trends to watch, it is interesting to note that 4 of the 8 trends identified are related to social computing. This juncture of technology and relationships is seen as a growing opportunity for business value.
The authors affirm:
Technology alone is rarely the key to unlocking economic value: companies create real wealth when they combine technology with new ways of doing business.
Social Computing Trends
1. Distributing co-creation
There will be an increase in the use of technology to enable the entire value chain in the innovation and product development process. This trend is supported by emerging standards and the open sharing of technologies and integration platforms. Companies are beginning to deliberately shift from protective internal R&D strategies, to the opportunities of open collaboration. They are trading IP (intellectual property) control for increased innovation and competitiveness.
By using technology to engage customers, companies are creating a rich opportunity to involve consumers directly in the design and creation process. Customers are now contributors as well as consumers, injecting a powerful source of relevant input and even content into the value creation process.3. Tapping into a world of talent
In the growing world of on-line social awareness, it's becoming easier to find the right person for the job. Using these same technologies, it's possible to effectively work with this person, regardless of where in the world they happen to live. This opens up dramatic new workforce opportunities as companies reconfigure to leverage outsourced roles, and recombine new specialty roles increase their competitiveness.
Productivity is becoming far less about traditional project and task management, and much more about sharing knowledge and managing interactions.
"Technology tools that promote tacit interactions, such as wikis, virtual team environments, and videoconferencing, may become no less ubiquitous than computers are now. As companies learn to use these tools, they will develop managerial innovations--smarter and faster ways for individuals and teams to create value through interactions--that will be difficult for their rivals to replicate."
For more details on the report, read the full article on CNet News