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Business organizations across the world are using the social networking tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter among others to boost employee relationships, achieve credibility, set up an opportunity for having communication between the organization and its customers and also to promote sales.
Moreover, it is reported that “company recruiters are going to sites like LinkedIn to get access to the almost 25 million resumes posted” (Brottlund, 2009, p.1).In this paper, there is going to be a discussion on the use of social networking tools by companies in general and by the IBM Company specifically.
There is also going to be a discussion on the type of IT projects. The report is basically based on an interview with one of the company’s IT managers, George Rizk.
In addition, there is also going to be presentation of the information obtained from the review of the related literature; supporting or criticizing the information provided by the manager during the interview. The conclusion section will provide a summary of the discussion.
Use of social networking tools by IBM
Following the interview, it was established that there are social networking tools that are used by IBM and these include, as pointed out by the interviewee; Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These social networking tools are used by this company for various purposes.
For instance, it was found out that the company uses these tools to advertise IBM’s initiatives like Smarter Planet, among others. It was also found out that the social networking tools are used to find potential employees.
Moreover, the manager pointed out that the social networks used in this company help the current and the former employees of the company to remain connected. However, the manager was also quick to point out that, to a certain extent, these social networks work against the company with other recruiters “poaching” the IBM employees.
Basing on information that has been presented in the literature on this issue, this manager’s view is correct. For instance, Zappone (2012) points out that in the present day, the social networks make it possible for the employers to engage in developing relationships with the potential employees even when they are working somewhere else.
The inclination towards recruiting the employed candidates, instead of those who are not working, poses a big risk of raiding the talent pool of a company. It is reported that in the last few years, the Sony Erickson Company gave instructions to those who recruit talents for the company to exclude the unemployed (Zappone, 2012).
Moreover, in survey conducted recently, it was found out that “more than 90 percent of senior human resources executives in the U.S regard recruiting ‘passive candidates’ as central to their strategy” (Zappone, 2012, p.1).
“Passive” candidates refer to the professionals who are not presently seeking another career opportunity (Zappone, 2012). In such situations, the “passive candidates” may be contacted via the social networking tools.
Zappone (2012) reports that, according to the information provided by LinkedIn, one of the social networking companies, “the rise of the social media and other new sources of potential candidates are driving a shift towards direct sourcing and recruiters expanding their search beyond active candidates to include ‘passive’ candidates” (Zappone, 2012, p.1).
However, according to the interviewee, the social networks need to be used in ICT environment. When asked the reason for this, he pointed out that it makes it a question of one company against the other and it is about the reputation of the company and how it treats its employees.
Mr. Rizk had also established that, other companies might engage in using the social networks as a tool to take down the reputation of competitive companies.
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This view is also shared in the literature presented by Shullich (2011) where it is reported that a study conducted among executives by PRNewswire showed that; forty nine percent of them had a feeling that the use of the social networking tools could damage a company’s reputation.
When asked whether this is legal or should be prevented, Mr. Rizk’s response was that the business organizations and social media will always be used in an inappropriate way by people and other business organizations to ‘put down’ another company’s reputation.
According to him, this is not fair or moral but a company cannot stop the actions of others in another company. He explained that in the case of IBM, this company has their BCG’s extend to social media.
The company takes its BCG’s quite seriously to a level where every employee is asked to revalidate yearly and to complete an education module to certify and this includes “Digital IBMer”, which is based around social media.
Type of IT projects
When asked about IT projects, the manager pointed out that IBM Company has many different projects. According to the manager, there are different components of projects and for instance, in storage there are four of them which include B & R, SAN, NAS, and Mainframe.
His response to the issue of whether all the available projects are on-going projects and whether there are projects that are completed before a deadline was, from his perspective, that; he manages projects for the customers that IBM supports.
He further pointed out that projects come in all shapes and sizes and they all have maintenance and upgrading support. The manager added that in case new comers come in, that also is considered as a project.
The different types of the IT projects are complex to manage. It has been found out that considerable numbers of the complex IT projects up to now still do not succeed in delivering the main benefits in a timely manner and also fail to target cost as well as specification.
It is further pointed out that this is largely driven by “the exponential growth in the capability of hardware and communications technology, and the corresponding inflation in people’s expectations and ambition” (British Computer Society, 2004).
It is also observed that a larger number of the IT projects are carried out with an intention of delivering some form of process or business change (British Computer Society, 2004). In particular cases, the IT systems will be brought in to make it possible to have a larger number of business transformations.
In other cases, “they will be automating an existing process” (British Computer Society, 2004, p. 17). Although the aim is labelled as automation, those involved will have to change their practices, “so business change of some form will ultimately result” (British Computer Society, 2004, p.17).
The effect of this will be that the practitioners in the IT field will require having adequate knowledge about the processes as well as business concerned if ever the IT system is to realize the expected results (British Computer Society, 2004).
It is very common for problems to come up and this is for the reason that the description of the “business process” provided to the supplier can not represent the process which is being used in an accurate manner (British Computer Society, 2004).
In the automation systems case, “the manual process being replaced by the IT system may be intrinsically ineffective – automation is unlikely to make a bad process better, although it may execute it more quickly” (British Computer Society, 2004, p.17).
Just like in many other companies across the world, there is use of various social networking tools in IBM. These tools include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter among others.
They are used for various purposes such as sales promotion and advertising, finding potential employees, and facilitating communication among employees among other purposes.
However, the use of these tools comes with their own challenges which include the risk of damaging the company’s reputation and leaking out of the company secrets among other challenges. But this company still prefers to continue using of these tools, but insist on the issue that the employees should use the tools responsibly.
There are also many different types of IT projects in this company and many different components of the IBM Company IT projects exist.
For instance, in storage, there are four of them which include B & R, SAN, NAS, and Mainframe. The complex nature of the IT projects call for having good project management in order to overcome the challenges that are associated with them.
British Computer Society, (2004). The challenges of complex IT projects. London, U.K: The Royal Academy of Engineering.
Brottlund, B. (2009). Companies using social networking to boost sales. Web.
Shullich, R. (2011). Risk assessment of social media. New York, NY: SANS Institute.
Zappone, C. (2012). Social media used to poach workers. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/social-media-used-to-poach-workers-20120506-1y6z0.html