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A chicken in every pot. That's what popped into my head as I sat down to write this note on the virtues of building a social enterprise. Long gone are the days when companies questioned the power of social media. Not when a YouTube video can upend a multimillion dollar marketing campaign or political revolutions are orchestrated on Twitter.
But as our cover story in this issue of CIO Decisions makes clear, adding viable social tools to the applications that run an enterprise can seem about as realistic as Hoover's Depression-era campaign promise to bring prosperity to every American. Companies are struggling to figure out how to weave in a social layer that enhances workflows without jeopardizing the controls that protect the business.
Is it possible to translate the remarkably efficient and addictive features of consumer social platforms into the secure -- yet less flexible -- applications that run the business? Yes, but more than likely, it will happen in increments -- one line of business or one application at a time. And, as Silu Modi and Martin Teat -- the two social enterprise pioneers featured here—demonstratively show, it's an effort that can require a strong backbone, an iron stomach and a whole lotta patience.
Don't stop reading after the cover story. Our other three articles for you this month are packed with career advice. Be forewarned: Patience is not a CIO virtue when it comes to big data, as you'll see in Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski's dispatch from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. We also look at the rise of the chief procurement officer and what the C-suite is looking for from the next generation of CIOs. Enjoy!
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This was first published in August 2013