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IT Masters News

Are CIO’s ready for social media?
27 November 2014


Social Media – Are You Ready?

If the CIO is not ready now for social media there will be “Truble at’ mill”, to quote Monty Python.

The current trend appears to be social media being the domain of the marketing department in any organisation and to a certain extent this is understandable.  Social media in a business context is all about the customer and getting the corporate message out and about.  The strategy then should be developed by marketing.  But not in isolation.

While the actual use of social media is good in the hands of sales and marketing, policy should be determined at a senior corporate level and it should be the IT group who is responsible for ensuring the organisation’s social media platforms work and are monitored and integrated with ‘what’s going on in the organisation’ – according to a Perth CIO Summit held this year.

The deployment of necessary tools to deal with social media should be with IT.  Where BYOD is a big factor the rules for their use in a corporate context should be established by IT.


Firstly, in order to work with social media, the CIO must know and understand the various platforms and ideally be actively using them.

Forbes also lists “Four Reasons Why CIOs Need Social Media” –

No. 1: Finding the right staff.  Using LinkedIn where you can search for technologies, companies and skills to find prospects and identify previous employers, and find former co-workers for back-channel recommendations.

No. 2: Tapping into internal communications.  Use tools such as Yammer or Chatter as a suggestion box. These collaboration tools let you create impromptu groups or enterprise-wise chat rooms to post questions (i.e., what’s the one thing IT can do better?).

No. 3: Getting smarter.  The same tools can be used internally to improve insight among your IT staff.

No. 4: Learning about product issues.  Setting up social networking capabilities for other departments can help IT’s relationships with those departments.

A study conducted by harmon.ie in 2012 of the Fortune 250/Global 250 showed only 10 percent of the CIOs had “social credentials demonstrating they understand what it takes to drive business transformation by using social tools to help flatten hierarchies, speed up business processes, and boost efficiency and agility through collaboration”.  The formula used took into account criteria such as the strength of each CIO’s LinkedIn network, re-tweet frequency, socialmention.com scores, blog reach, citations by other influential bloggers, and Google+ influence.

According to Oliver Bussmann (Ex SAP CIO and now Group CIO of UBS) “Since IT has always been hard to understand and follow, using social technologies makes it easier to communicate with the IT organisation and the rest of the company.  As the CIO, you have to understand how social media can keep everyone in touch,”

He adds “Exploring the social platform at a personal level the CIO can get a good inside out peek which outside in cannot afford”.

With increasing social media interaction which is also an ever increasing digital environment, Big Data is an issue and ideally it is the CIO and team who should take the lead which will put them at the forefront of the social sphere.