Social capitalists will exploit technology to disrupt industry segments

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 03, 2012

Social capitalistsAs the gap between the rich and the poor in developed economies grows, money, wealth and power are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small number of individuals — the “one percent” — while the other “99 percent” is increasingly using social media to collaborate, campaign and agitate against perceived inequities, leaving many management teams feeling under threat.

In such a scenario, it is imperative that CIOs and business leaders understand how a new breed of social capitalists will exploit technology to disrupt their industry segments, according to findings by Gartner’s Maverick research.

“While capitalism won’t collapse, there are fundamental changes under way as it morphs to a new form that is more in tune with the technology and attitudes of the 21st century,” said Nigel Rayner, research vice president at Gartner. “The coming capitalist era is that of the Facebook generation, in which the values and behaviors that pervade the Internet and social media will also be adopted by innovative and disruptive businesses. With half the world’s population under the age of 25, this may happen sooner than many think.”

Gartner has identified a number of major shifts that will occur as capitalism goes social:
– Businesses will move away from the hierarchical command-and-control model to a more democratic and meritocratic model. Employees will be judged (and granted decision rights) on the basis of their impact on and value to the community, rather than on job title, age or social background.

– Businesses will adopt a more open approach to decision making, allowing anyone in the organization, and also people outside the organization, to have input into the decision-making process. Goals and objectives will be set by socializing strategic aims with employees, shareholders and communities of interest.

– Social and mobile technologies will be used to build and manage two-way relationships between businesses and all their communities of interest. This use of technology will go way beyond the one-way, outward-looking, limited use of social media today. It really will bring the 99 percent inside the walls of the enterprise to become part of the organization.

“These changes won’t impact all industries and businesses in the same way. Some will use them to create incremental business opportunities, but others may find their business model directly threatened, because they are seen by the 99 percent as the worst cases of exploitative business practices,” said Rayner. “However, some innovative organizations will use capitalism going social to create new business models and disrupt their industries.”