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More Than Half Of Executives Still Rate Their Organizations As Underdeveloped When It Comes To Social Business

Second annual global study from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte finds percentage of executives who think social business is important has doubled in one year


Cambridge, Massachusetts – New research released today by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte reports that when asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of one to 10, 52 percent of respondents from around the world gave their company a score of three or below. Just 17 percent ranked their company at seven or above.

While social maturity may be lagging, perceived importance of social business is mounting. The report, Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear, from a global survey of more than 2,500 business executives, also indicates that 36 percent of respondents called social business “important” compared to just 18 percent last year. This increase in importance is reported across many industry sectors.

The report finds that three major culprits are halting progress in social maturity: lack of an overall strategy (28 percent of respondents), too many competing priorities (26 percent), and lack of a demonstrated business case or strong value proposition (21 percent).

“Overcoming these barriers requires strong executive leadership,” says David Kiron, Executive Editor for MIT Sloan Management Review. “Companies that are generating value with social business tend to have leaders who have helped get these capabilities applied to important business problems, a process that can very often change the way people work.”

The study also finds that more than 70 percent of chief executive officers, chief information officers and chief marketing officers believe that social business is an opportunity to fundamentally change the working dynamics. Chief digital officers are also entering into the C-suite to guide digital strategies and manage content. As such, the “traditional” roles and interactions of the CEO, CIO, CMO and now chief digital officers are changing; opening up opportunities for new ways to effectively collaborate.

“Regardless of the specific C-suite role, our study identifies steps that leaders can take on the path to social maturity,” said Doug Palmer, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and a co-author of the report. “Strategic leadership remains important in the process and creates greater value.”

The study takes a closer look at companies with a higher social business maturity level and identifies specific elements of success.

Integration is important:

• Social business capabilities need to map to business challenges
• Businesses with more developed capabilities do not view social business solely as an application or a tool
• Social business is integrated into functions across the company, such as strategy & operations and the daily decision-making process

The value of social business:

• 65 percent of mature companies use social business tools to understand market shifts
• 45 percent of mature companies turn to it to improve visibility into operations
• 45 percent of mature companies leverage it to identify internal talent

4 major factors for success:

• Leadership - company leaders should actively drive social use and foster a social culture
• Measurement - social maturity evolves through experimentation and learning
• Quality content - socially effective companies create, curate and refresh high value content
• Appropriate processes - engaging business process design enables achievements

Please visit MIT Sloan Management Review to read the full report or for more information on the MIT SMR/Deloitte joint Social Business project.

About MIT Sloan Management Review
A media company based at the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Sloan Management Review’s mission is to lead the conversation among research scholars, business executives and other thought leaders about advances in management practice that are transforming how people lead and innovate. MIT Sloan Management Review captures for thoughtful managers the creativity, excitement and opportunity generated by rapid organizational, technological and societal change.

About Deloitte’s Technology Services practice and Social Business solutions
Deloitte helps organizations leverage technology to develop practical business solutions. From strategy through implementation, Deloitte takes a business-led, technology-enabled approach to help clients jump-start their social strategies with broad solutions. We work closely with leading social software vendors, giving us an insider’s view of the evolving landscape. And we provide integrated solutions that tap the full range of Deloitte’s strategy, technology, human capital and risk management capabilities.

To join the conversation, Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear, follow @mitsmr or @DU_Press on Twitter, or join our groups on LinkedIn: Deloitte and MIT SMR.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


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