"Social media has overtaken email as the corporate communication tool of choice," KPMG CIO Harry Moseley said last week at Tibco's TUCON conference in Las Vegas, shortly after Thomson Reuters CTO James Powell said his company had also been reaping the benefits of enterprise social networking tool tibbr.
Moseley, formerly CIO at Blackstone Group and in his role at the giant professional services firm since December 2012, told an audience of analysts, journalists and Tibco customers that despite having been in the technology industry longer than he would care to admit and having seen incredible advances - those in the most recent years have been the most dramatic.
"The cadence of change is getting faster and faster," he said. "You can accept it or resist it, but either way change will occur.
"The best example is social media, which didn't exist 10 years ago. Those who embrace social media have been empowered - just look at Twitter's role in the Arab Spring, and the Occupy Wall Street hashtag in the US. Things can come together much faster than they ever could before.
"If we had social media in the 1960s we could have organised Woodstock in a day; and we'd also have some really interesting pictures online," he quipped.
Keen cyclist Moseley, who opened up his talk on the cadence of change wearing a Team Tibco procycling jersey under his jacket, said that KPMG has 59,000 users signed up to tibbr, and is now deploying the product across the organisation.
"It opens ways to solutions and creative ideas from more sources than ever before," he said.
"We're an organisation of 152,000 people and email was the chosen way to connect. Today we use tibbr. It has connected more people and we are sharing ideas in a way like they never had before.
"Social media has overtaken email as the corporate communication tool of choice."
Moseley revealed that one of the drivers behind embracing tibbr and enterprise social networking was the ability to maximise all the intelligence and skills employed at KPMG.
"Solutions can come from the top of the house or even the latest analyst to join the organisation," Moseley explained.
"Social media platforms enable us to assemble ideas and harness our knowledge globally.
"It lets the senior leadership team understand what's happening at the coalface and utilise the power of our colleagues."
Moments earlier, CTO at Thomson Reuters Powell said that every business is now social and that his own media and information services firm had 20,000 users on tibbr.
Thomson Reuters, which offers financial and risk, tax and accounting, and intellectual property and science services as well as being a journalism organisation, has rolled out the Tibco ESN tool across tax and accounting, hosted in a Tibco data centre and which took five months from conception until its launch in May this year. The next step involves two legal roll-outs, executive vice president Powell said.
"The vision for this is that by the end of 2015 we'll be fully connected across the business, with tax professionals able to communicate with legal professionals and even further across the business," he said.
"We have changed the way we think about partners and moving to the cloud is also a big opportunity for our future.
"We need to focus on our core competencies by finding partners who can solve problems for us that can be easily integrated in what we do. That's the buy versus build challenge and has really changed our way of thinking.
"And by enabling our business to be more social, we needed a partner in Tibco that could scale and offered flexibility," Powell said.
Imperial College London graduate Powell, on the executive leadership team at Thomson Reuters and CTO since July 2008, also spoke about the challenges of being a business based around electronically-stored information.
"We've really been a Big Data company for over 20 years," he said. "There's been lots of acquisitions and lots of integration - massive complexity with legacy and data centres which has made my role a severe challenge.
"But we're becoming a more integrated company, consolidating and moving to shared services.
"We're in a real state of revolution right now," Powell said.
Moseley and Powell were speaking at TUCON shortly before tibbr announced a strategic partnership with cloud collaboration vendor Huddle, integrating Huddle's file-sharing and cloud content management with tibbr's enterprise social networking capabilities.
Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell said that KPMG would be rolling out Huddle alongside their tibbr programme.
Moseley, also managing director at KPMG, echoed IT executive counterpart Powell and reminded the audience of leadership guru John C Maxwell's line that change is inevitable, but growth is optional.
But, Moseley warned: "Don't get caught out by shiny object syndrome and incorporate every new widget into the way you do things.
"The challenge is how do we harness and leverage that change?
"The cadence of change keeps moving and presenting us with new opportunities. It will be fascinating to see what comes next."