The Emerging Role of Social Employee Apps

IT departments are struggling to adapt to new economic realities and a rapidly changing technology environment that includes fundamental shifts in mobile, social, and cloud computing technologies.

The lingering effects of the downturn marked by flat-to-negative IT budgets are forcing IT departments to reassess and more accurately measure the real business value delivered by both existing and future IT investments. No system or project is out of scope as IT looks for any opportunity to squeeze additional productivity from an aging portfolio and map it to a more demanding and collaborative business environment. Organizations are rethinking traditional development platforms and architectural models in favor of solutions that offer speed, economy, and agility.

At issue is how to support this new world defined by agile processes and mobile workforces without the expense of replacing or expanding the current systems infrastructure. Instead of replacing core operational systems, many IT departments are defining and creating a new applications layer based on the UI and collaborative concepts learned from modern social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. This layer is made up of lightweight, collaborative applications and services built with less-expensive platforms that create a layer of agility around core operational systems. It allows a much higher number of business users to access and collaborate around core operational data using the new wave of mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. In many cases, these applications are built by the actual business users and governed centrally by IT.

This new layer of enterprise employee solutions is increasingly being referred to as “social employee applications.”

This white paper will examine how social employee apps differ from traditional enterprise software and complement and extend the functional capabilities of legacy environments.

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