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October 2013, Volume 1, Number 5

Social media for business forces changes to enterprise architecture

Businesses that use social media can reap the benefits of real-time communication among employees and with customers. Sites like Facebook and Twitter let companies deliver news about products and services to customers quickly, drive more traffic to their websites, streamline sales processes -- and, ultimately, build loyalty. But this bonanza isn't guaranteed; a framework must be built to house social media along with IT systems, software and business processes. Going social means revamping a company's enterprise architecture. Think of enterprise architecture as a blueprint of all the parts of a company: It aligns process, data and technology components to meet an organization's current and future objectives. Now think of social media as a child drawing all over that blueprint. "Most enterprise architectures depict a fairly predictable workflow," said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI, an IT consultancy. "Social media can be disruptive where the applications have been designed to depend on very linear process flows." Simply put, ...

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