In January of this year, Saugatuck informally interviewed 30 customer (developers and IT leaders) and business partner attendees (mostly ISVs) at IBM’s Connect 2013 event regarding their knowledge and perception of three increasingly widely-used, important and ill-defined terms/concepts: “Social Business,” “Innovation” and “Transformation.”

In analyzing the 30 interviews conducted in January, we noted eight business interaction/activity-oriented terms that we saw as a spectrum of recurring themes within our discussions regarding “Social Business.” We present the spectrum and define those activity types in Figure 1 (see below).

The spectrum layout shows us how Social Business terminology and themes tend to run from least-interactive to most-interactive, or simplest to most complex types of interaction, from left to right.

But positioning the themes is nothing more than observation. How are these used, and what can we learn from that?

In analyzing the notes from our January interviews/discussions, Saugatuck recorded the number of times each activity type/theme occurred – unprompted – within each participant’s dialogue. The results are detailed and analyzed in our most recent Strategic Perspective, published March 7 for Saugatuck research clients, so we can’t freely provide all the information in this blog post.

What we can tell you is this: the least interactive, least-complex types of Social Business activity tend to be the most frequently cited by the people most interested in building, using, or selling them.

Our interview results suggest that the majority of buyers, users, developers and ISVs are not – yet – ready to invest in or benefit from the more advanced, and much sexier, types of Social Business currently being marketed. That has significant implications for providers of Social Business, from their target buyers not being ready, to the challenges of marketing a somewhat vague concept.  

This blog originally appeared at Saugatuck Lens360.