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Social Business Transformations in the Large Enterprise - Managing Change

teaser.jpgBy:   Leroy Mason, Global Chief Technologist, Applications Innovation Services, Hewlett Packard Company


After my recent post Social Business – The Next Wave of Enterprise Application Innovation, readers asked how an enterprise would manage such a transformation. I described how adding Systems-of-Engagement (SoE) to Systems-of-Record (SoE) is the next best bet for enterprise application transformations.


At HP Enterprise Services we have extensive experience in enterprise transformations. Transformation involves innovation and newness, and there are definitely patterns that are reused each time.


A properly managed enterprise transformation involves a lot more than just a focus on the technology architecture. An enterprise transformation framework has work streams including value management, business architecture and technology architecture, management of change, and programme management and governance. Most of these work streams are focused on topics other than technology.



Figure 1.  Enterprise Transformation Timeline and Strands of Activity



Figure 1 summarizes the workstreams across the entire transformation schedule. The change in technology architecture is co-ordinated with changes in business architecture. The value proposition of the transformation must be continually managed to ensure the business goals are achieved. A lot of the non-technology methodology is a manual effort. Reports are created and presented to management. If the program is deviating from goals, then management takes corrective actions to get it back on track. This cycle, shown in Figure 2, has plenty of manual decision time and can take between one and three months.


Of particular importance is the Value Management work stream.   It is responsible for ensuring the business case initially proposed is delivered, from implementation to the production operations of the transformed enterprise. This activity provides reports on operations using terms defined in the initial business case to keep on track and show new opportunities consistent with the original business case.  Management is presented with these reports monthly (or quarterly), then corrective actions and exploitation of new opportunities are implemented. The entire control loop is offline. There’s significant latency in this system - months - especially relative to the learning conditions of the human nervous system which typically occurs over second and hours.


Significantly, most of the subject matter of Value Management is not technology – it is making sure that the behaviour of the staff affected by the transformation changes is in harmony with the technology transformation.




Figure 2.  Latency Inherent in Enterprise Transformations



Social Business Transformations for the Large Enterprise


This is where a social business transformation is very different. The control loop is online. Latency is minimised.


A component of the social business transformation for large enterprise is gamification. Gamification is using game mechanics to help drive participation, engagement and loyalty within an online community.  With gamification, the entire value management control loop is online, real-time, and automatic. Parameters can be changed within minutes, not months. This is not to say that work becomes a game – we’re just borrowing some aspects of games to make work more meaningful for those affected.


Game mechanics are tools that leverage our innate desire for competition, achievement, status, reward, self-expression and altruism.  They include:

  • Earning badges, trophies and achievements
  • Tracking and rewarding online activity
  • Competing for position on league tables
  • Creating virtual identities for self-expression
  • Collaborating as part of a team
  • Spreading the word via social media communities


Gamification works because game mechanics stimulate innate human potentialities into action (Figure 3).



Figure 3.  Gamification Mechanism Mapped to Human Motivation


For the enterprise application users, partners and customers, it means work becomes more than just slogging through a business process. Good enterprises successfully appealed to human nature. Gamification institutionalizes it.


Readers have asked how social business transformations would be managed in large enterprises. The answer is that the pattern of the transformation would take a traditional form but be accelerated by online control mechanisms operating within the gamification mechanism. Gamification is starting to bite in areas related to CRM now since many of the most pressing problems for enterprise relate to customers and increasing sales. However once these solutions are implement, applications transformation teams will start to apply the tools elsewhere - in fact wherever the enterprise system needs to better manage human behaviour



Related links: 


About the author

bio.jpgLeroy Mason, Global Chief Technologist, Applications Innovation Services, Hewlett Packard Company Leroy Mason is global chief technologist of Microsoft Application Innovation Services for HP. He has 30 years of experience in large-scale enterprise application services including Wall Street banks, Microsoft, and HP. His professional interests include adapting the applications lifespan economics to cloud platforms.

Mohit Garg | ‎04-04-2013 02:50 PM

Hi Leroy, gamification caught my attention because of my strong interest in this space, and also because of MindTickle - A gamified social learning platform, that we have developed.


Great that you could write about enterprise social business transformation. In addition to customer facing functions, and as you pointed out about other functions, new hire orientation is also seeing the leverage of gamification. While it is surely because of the millenials, but the factors of retention, productivity and engagement are also playing an important role.


Do you think there is a connection - new hire onboarding, enterprise social business transformation and enterprise gamification?


Thank You, Mohit

leroymason | ‎04-04-2013 09:23 PM


I agree with you.


HR is ripe for gamification across the board, including new hire onboarding. In fact I see gamification applying quite generally in the enterprise.


An Information Systems researcher call Prof Steven Alter says that IT practitioners are focussed on delivering IT artefacts when they design new systems. This leaves a much of what is required to successfully implement and manage a new enterprise application un-modelled - essentially the human effort that is applied to manual processes and workarounds is left out of the analysis.


Gamification provides both models and tools to rectify this quickly. I'm working to include gamification into our enterprise consulting frameworks.

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