I’m increasingly using social networking and online collaboration tools for projects in my working life and more and more of my clients are using social networks to promote their interests with their customers, service users and the broader community. Without these tools my efficiency would plummet and my clients ability efficiently pursue their objectives would be much undermined
However, I’m still finding that many behind corporate or NHS firewalls can’t get access to these tools and are thus denied the transformational benefits of making proper use of them. Even though others including many more enlightened NHS organisations are demonstrating how they can be used efficiently.
Organisations who think they are going to improve corporate productivity by taking a “sledge hammer” approach to Internet abuse and corporate security are dinosaurs and will go the same way, only hopefully a lot quicker.
Sites and services commonly blocked include Facebook, Google Docs, Dropbox, LinkedIn, YouTube, Mikogo, Skype, G+ The list just goes on and on.
The problem is further compounded by overzealous email filtering. Don’t the IT droids understand that there are legitimate business communications in Health and Care dealing with paedophilia, child abuse and rape or that “Dyke”can also be a surname?
Sure there are legitimate concerns with regard to staff making improper use of their employers time and resources and the security of corporate networks, but we don’t try and stop doctors and nursing abusing medicines by saying they can’t have any access to them and in any case where staff are poorly managed and motivated they don’t need technology to help them squander their employers resources.
I also amazed how people put up with these restrictions, particular in large poorly managed organisations where the IT function is remote, difficult and unresponsive and people feel it is just too much trouble to argue their case and live with the inefficiency or just work round it using their smart phones.
Organisation have to understand that survival will increasingly dependent on having a workforce who know about and understand how they can use web 2.0 tools like social networks, crowd sourcing and cloud based collaboration. Cutting of their access to such things in the workplace is surely cutting of your nose to spite your face and an abrogation of managements responsibility to ensure staff are trained and motivated to use these tools appropriately. IT departments also have to step up to their responsibilities to protect corporate security and resources in way that don’t interfere with the business and realise that they can’t get away with blunt sledge hammer approaches.
Finally, those face with in appropriate block on access, should tell their employers to get their act together. But, don’t blame me if you get fired.