I recently blogged about how social media and CRM are two sides of the same coin, and that, in many ways CRM was the world’s first social networking tool. I mention this because I recently came across this blog by Michael Fauscette, an analyst and consultant with IDC, about the social enterprise maturity model…so to speak.
As Fauscette points out, ERP and then CRM provided an opportunity for vendors over two decades ago to begin the process of tracking and dissecting the data associated with ERP and CRM, and thus eventually automating the business processes surrounding sales, manufacturing, etc. The wealth of data being created on a daily basis within social networking sites begs for a similar approach, and one that I think Fasucette is correct in ascertaining will follow the nearly the same exact path that CRM and ERP did.
We’ve got the data now. The next step is to begin some system of analyzing what’s out there, which will eventually lead to actions or decisions based on such data. For our part, CRM vendors are still in the opening phase of this second step; for their part, so are the social networking sites at the root of this transformation.
User interfaces are still very much focused on simply providing end users with a module or portal, if you like, that provides a small glimpse or synopsis of activity based on certain search criteria. The next step will be conquering the means to digest data directly from sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn into digestible data sets that allow analytic engines to be strapped onto those interfaces.
Once that hurdle is conquered, it should spawn an entirely new class of analytics and functionality across CRM systems.