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Opportunities and threats in use of IT and social media in the workplace.

Edward Harkins

New Member
IT security company Clearswift has produced the latest of it’s annual reports on global social media. These are some of the most revealing extracts:

New phase; risky but essential:
The report describes a ˜new phase as businesses across the globe clamp down following recent high profile data breaches: 68% of companies now monitor employee internet activity and 56% block access to some sites. There has been a sharp rise in blocking of social media with 19% of companies globally blocking use, whereas Clearswift’s 2010 report showed only 9% of companies blocking.

Nevertheless, 54% of companies now cite web collaboration as a pivotal tool, and one in four companies planning to invest more in social media this year than last. Good news for the UK where 31% expect to invest more in social media this year, whereas only 18% in Germany.

Company line management attitudal divide
Globally, there is a growing attitudinal divide between workers and managers about the use of social media in the workplace: 48% of managers say that social media is either allowed or encouraged within their organisation, but only 25% of employees agree. There is confusion about the use of personal devices at work: 60% of companies state that they allow or encourage use, but only 40% of workers think this is the case. It seems that the rapid increase in use of highly personalised equipment such as iphones or ipads is one cause of this confusion. 23% of employees believe that social media and personal devices are leading to an extension of the working day. This can in part be explained by distraction, with 70% of employees stating that email and social networking affects concentration.
Security disconnect:
In terms of security and social media, the differing opinions, of employees and employers are particularly pronounced. Within management there is widespread concern about social media usage. The fears of managers are well placed as 21% of employees admit to not thinking about security at all when they use the web and email and 31% state that they believe security to be an employer responsibility (care needed in interpretation here as the latter figures are based on a global database " rather than UK only).

All intriguing base material for us to use in thinking about what is going on in our own companies and organisations?