Social technology, which includes blogs, microblogging (Twitter), social networking tools, and next-generation collaboration platforms, is a fundamental shift in how businesses use technology. As Forrester describes in Groundswell, your customers are becoming empowered through their use of these technologies, and your business must adapt to this changing relationship. And in our forthcoming book, Empowered, we examine how the people within your business are driving business impact through their use of these same technologies. 

Grass-roots experimentation and use by your business’s staff is good – but real business impact is when your business adopts and uses these technologies. This requires your business execs to put in the frameworks, guidelines, coordination, and governance to maximize benefit while prudently managing risk. 

Forrester is embarking on research to develop a Social Technology Maturity Benchmark that incorporates these steps. Because maturity will be an important issue for you in your role of charting your firm’s business technology strategy, we’d like your input on this. Colleagues in Forrester’s team serving Interactive Marketing professionals are conducting a survey of both business and IT leaders, including CIOs, Infrastructure and Operations professionals, Sourcing & Vendor Management professionals, and Enterprise Architecture professionals. Here is their introduction to this survey:

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this study. We are going to ask you a series of questions around your organization's use and implementation of social technologies (this includes internal and external social technologies like collaboration tools and social networks). The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. All respondents will receive an executive summary upon completion of the research. As always, responses will be published anonymously in aggregate only.

Please help us help you by completing this survey. And please respond to this blog with your own perspectives on what it will take to be mature in the use of social technologies.