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Building the business case for social knowledge networks

The fact that times are tough is not news to anyone these days. From the boardroom to the mailroom, people from all walks of life are impacted by current conditions. Specifically, CIOs and other information professionals must make difficult choices about spending priorities.

In most cases, the only projects that get consideration are those that affect the top line (or revenues), directly reduce costs and improve organizational efficiencies, or address risk management.

In Gartner's Information Management Survey, published in March 2008, CIOs and information professionals identified their top three decision factors when considering IT spending in reduced budgetary environments:

1. Improving operational efficiency
2. More effective information sharing/collaboration
3. Cost reduction

Because Inmagic works hand-in-hand with social champions in a variety of industries to help shape and guide their social strategy, we thought we'd share our experience to help you showcase the benefits of socializing enterprise content to upper management.

And so, we bring you a nine-part series: How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Network Needs. Our article line-up will go like this:

Part 1: Increase productivity by socializing more. How this counter-intuitive thinking can make workers more effective.

Part 2: Socialize for savings. Examining the ROI of implementing social knowledge networks.

Part 3: When good organizations use bad content. The importance of weeding out poor-quality content to reduce operational costs.

Part 4: The community will set you free. How tapping community wisdom speeds knowledge discovery.

Part 5: Losing the man, not the manpower. Using SKNs to keep knowledge retention and productivity levels high when weathering workforce shortages.

Part 6: Productivity is power. A deeper ROI analysis, based on productivity gains.

Part 7: Dude, where's my data? SKNs can consolidate and organize it all in one place.

Part 8: Knowledge, a more perfect union. Centralizing knowledge is one for all, and all for one.

Part 9: The SKN evangelist's checklist. The most important points to make when advocating SKNs.

Now that '09 is upon us, we all have to batten down the hatches and hang on to our hats. But it's also time to look closely at processes and areas that cost-effectively improve the bottom line. Those that proactively streamline efficiencies and make improvements with a solid ROI will prevail when we see this storm pass.

In this series, you'll see how the unique implementation of social technologies with a knowledge management solution can result in measurable cost reductions, increased operational efficiencies, and improved collaboration. Watch for our first installment next week.

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