I've been asked to create an innovative take on the idea of an IT Center of Excellence, specifically to focus on social collaboration. As those of you who know me or read my blog will expect, I view success in social collaboration to be a behavioural and cultural shift in an organization. The technology helps, but social technology is pretty ubiquitous these days. One piece of tech may do something better than another, but other things not as well. New technology appears every day (judging by sales people who reach out to me). So far, I've seen very few offer anything new or innovative over the traditional big players. The focus must be on the cultural change to be effective.
Centers of Excellence have a rigid, formal, old-school IT feel about them. And while efficiencies and performance are important, a traditional CoE structure and outlook may not work with social collaboration efforts.
For me, a CoE needs to be a living network - more community of practice than ivory tower. It must be responsive to business needs and, above all, responsive to human needs. Agile methodologies and a lean startup mentality can all be effective in building something that is responsive and can scale.
I'll be posting more of my thoughts over the coming weeks as I try to sort through my ideas. And of course, what I'd appreciate most is your feedback.