Dreamforce is here and I’m in San Francisco witnessing palpable excitement among city hotels packed to the roofs with anticipating delegates first hand.

And, it has occurred to me that this year is special. It’s a year when we are not just predicting a trend but also genuinely carving an unchartered path!

The IT industry is great at pinning the next big thing to the board. But, where last year we predicted businesses would need to go social to succeed, this year, we are dealing with the “what now” i.e. the bigger question in the eyes of many businesses.

This year we are exploring what lies on the road ahead for social businesses and answering the question of what to do once you have committed to taking your business social.  Many companies are so afraid of getting it wrong and being judged for their mistakes that they take a wait and see approach. But, as a forum of experts at Cloudforce Sydney back in June surmised,mistakes are key learnings and companies shouldn’t be held back by fear of making them – in fact, they are essential steps on the road to success and valuable feedback for others sharing the journey.

When you are forging a path into new territory, you carry the responsibility of reporting back your discoveries. Which is why it is so great to have such innovative companies as Virgin, General Electric and CommBank - pioneering the social path - sharing their discoveries with us on stage at Dreamforce this year. 

Dreamforce 2012 promises to uncover more of those vital “what nows” and I can’t wait!