All businesses serve the interest of individuals or entities made up of individuals. Social networks now represent swarms of individuals representing numerous different businesses.
Maximizing the value of a network itself will soon become the number one strategy for a business.For instance, businesses will devote as much energy to promoting themselves on a network—the tangle of suppliers, buyers, employees and potential employees—as they do to their products or services. For unless their web thrives, they die.
This represents a momentous change—a complete shift in orientation. From physical to virtual orientation for all businesses. It will no longer become a battle of restraining employees from participating in networks rather it will become a defacto requirement of being employed.
The prosperity of a firm is directly linked to the prosperity of its network. As the platform or standard it operates on flourishes, so does the firm.
Identifying the preferred network to do business in will be a major chore for firms. Because more and more of a firm’s future lies in its networks, firms must evaluate a network’s relative open- and closedness, its circulation, its ability to adapt. Consultant John Hagel says, “A web limits risk. It allows companies to make irreversible investments in the face of technological uncertainty. Companies in a web enjoy expanding sourcing and distribution options, while their fixed investment and skill requirements fall.”
More and more businesses will either set up their own networks or find ways to integrate into existing networks.
This shift to network loyalty makes the potential of any network we might want to join a key issue. Is the network waxing or waning? Is the upside potential meager or tremendous? Is the network open or closed?
When given the choice between closed or open systems, consumers and businesses have shown a fierce enthusiasm for open architectures. They choose the open again and again because an open system has more potential upside than a closed one. There are more sources from which to recruit customers and suppliers as well as more opportunities with which to intersect.
As the destiny of business and networks intertwine, the health of the network becomes paramount.
Enabling Business to establish their own profiles within networks will only enhance the health of a network and expand its value to the entire community.
What say you?