What Organizations Can Learn from "If This Then That" (IFTTT)

Friday, June 15, 2012

If you haven't yet heard of "If This Then That (IFTTT)" you might want to have a look. If you are already familiar with it read on, because I think organizations - especially large ones - have a lot to learn from this particular service. 

Here's why.

The premise is simple: if this happens, than do that

The system connects "channels" (Facebook, Twitter, and the like, but also any RSS feed) and then allows users to create "recipes" (ongoing tasks to be performed) by prompting them to set triggers and corresponding actions.

If that sounds complicated, think of it as stimulus=response

If its going to rain in Ottawa, send me a text message. 

If I change my Facebook profile picture, change my Twitter avatar to match. 

If I send an email with an attachment, send a copy of the attachment to Dropbox.

The genius of the service is that it effectively allows you to eliminate any repetitive tasks from your day to day

How many simple repetitive tasks do people in large organizations carry out on a daily basis? 

Wouldn't something that could be easily configured to fill similar gaps within the organizational context be extremely useful?

In a word, yes

If the meeting minutes are approved, send them out to the distribution list.

If I submit vacation, set my out of office reply for those dates.

If I classify a document as Protected A (public domain) in the central repository, create a new GCPEDIA page / append the existing page mirroring the content.

The list of possibilities is endless

On the face of it, you may not think this sounds like much, but in the aggregate these tasks undoubtedly stack up over time. 

IFTTT demonstrates precisely the type of thinking that organizations ought to be adopting whenever they are looking to gain efficiencies. The model, a small front end investment that pays long term dividends, is obviously a compelling one.

On a more practical, in enterprise application, right now kind of solution

Any organization struggling with how to best archive their corporate Twitter presence may want to configure IFTTT to automatically archive their corporate tweets, @ replies, and/or other relevant hashtags by connecting it into Evernote.

Any organization struggling with how to best harmonize their social media outreach may want to configure IFTTT to automatically cross promote content between their social media outposts rather than do it manually every time.

Any organization looking to create a comprehensive overview of an event/conference that they participated in may want to configure IFTTT to grab all of the social media conference proceedings and pump it into Storify.

Like I said, the list goes on and on.

Originally published by Nick Charney at cpsrenewal.ca
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