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The Social Effect on Enterprise Applications


The Social Effect on Enterprise Applications

June 24, 2014 | Published in Information Week

Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of adopting certain features and interaction patterns of new-age social applications to transform the traditional enterprise apps

As the world moves into a new technology age where Internet of Everything takes the center stage, enterprise applications are also fast adopting features from the B2C applications. Banks that have been the largest adapters of technology and also have some of the oldest systems are changing, the change is being driven by new compliance and the need to bring down costs and increase efficiency. As customers are becoming more and more demanding, banks are also being more transparent in their processes. They are fast realizing the value in adopting certain features from the new-age social applications.

Enterprise applications, especially the ones running in banks today, are all about people, workflow, rules and record/ case processing. To take an example, when we apply for a new loan with a bank as a customer we talk to the bank which internally has a group of people who enter data, scan forms, fill up items and later approve or reject these applications. Such a record/ case processing environment can benefit by adopting a lot of features from the social world.

Key impact social features are having on enterprise applications include:

Digitization: Initiatives which take the enterprise applications to little or no paper to mean that the entire business process will be available on the terminal rather than on paper. 

Interaction: Interaction between users is, in principle, the focal point of workflow-based record approval systems. Multiple human beings working on an application with each having a set of allocated tasks; working perhaps from different locations, to ensure that the application is processed in time. Such a group of individuals need an easy way to communicate as decisions are sometimes taken post consultations amongst this group.

Transparency: The entire process of taking a record from application to the end state of approval/ rejection has to be made transparent to the end customer. This is more than ever required now as enterprises have become more focused on their customer retention and customer centricity. The right amount of messaging in a longish approval flow can make sure that the end-customer is kept aware at all times. This can also reduce the number of calls to the call center, which in turn, has a positive impact on costs. 


Enterprise Applications

Social features in enterprise:

The enterprise applications can benefit a lot from social applications. The communication patterns of humans online have more or less been defined by these applications. They have made interactions and related patterns so lucid that people of all age groups can interact and use these platforms. Enterprise applications can learn from these applications and adopt the features, even though the adoption and level of applicability may vary from application to application but the following table lists some of them:



Match to enterprise


Connect with friends

Teams are like groups. A group of underwriters, for example, can discuss cases from various divisions/ offices


Post text/ comment

Instead of writing notes on physical files, comments online can enable communication faster.


Multi-media contents

Loans and other applications need documents which are critical as proofs and are required for approvals. The way social networks display documents/pictures can be developed for these documents.


Share links

Links in enterprise can be treated as linking objects within the application like other cases/ documents/ users etc.

Interaction/ Transparency

Post replies

Comments/ message interaction patterns can be used for internal and external interactions that an enterprise has.

Interaction/ Transparency

Life event wishes

Wishes are important not only for the enterprise users but also for the end users/customers. Birthday wishes from a bank is a very personalized and feel-good gesture for the end customer.

Interaction/ Transparency


Chronology and presenting data linked to time of occurrence is more of an interaction design pattern and can be applied to any application. As the record flows through the system, an end user or a senior executive may want to see updates on a daily level.


It can be safely concluded, then, that the features and interaction patterns from social applications have great value if adopted by the enterprise, especially banks as they interact with large number of people who hold accounts or apply for loans etc. The users will see the added benefits from this adoption some of which are:

  • Less training to adapt to enterprise applications
  • Greater ease in using applications by the next generation of users and end customers who are accustomed to the social media applications
  • A transparent and responsive enterprise for the end user
  • Reduced costs if planned and executed in the right way

Social platforms can no longer be ignored as more and more enterprises are moving to adopt these platforms and provide services on these. Technology adoption in the B2C community is faster than that in the enterprise applications industry and hence, we can soon expect the wave to enter this e –world as well.

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