Recession, Transparency and Social Computing

As banks and other major institutions are getting bailed out by the government, one thing that stands out is the need for transparency/accountability. Obama administration is trying to do its part by initiatives such as recovery.gov to provide greater transparency in government.   When it comes to businesses, the major challenge of policy makers (and leaders) is to conceive a framework that can balance transparency against exposing legitimate business strategies.  As more and more business reshape their organizational structure into networked hierarchies from their traditional hierarchies, people at various levels of the organization will have greater opportunity to contribute towards business goals.  If businesses don’t independently transform themselves into this new organizational structure they will be forced to do so through layoffs.  For example, I was talking to a friend of mine who works as a developer in an investment bank and according to him if you’re not hands-on then you’re out.  I know that this is not the case couple of years back, it used to be highly hierarchical organizational structure there. 

The new organizational structure provides for a way to drive innovation by tapping into the collective intelligence of the organization.   At every level of the organization there is business intelligence that can help shape business strategy or reduce costs.   If applications in enterprise are built with an intent to tap into these social capabilities it will drive innovation.  It is up to the policy makers, regulators and business leaders to choose and drive these initiatives.

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