I saw some interesting articles from the NY Times and the Enterprise 2.0 blog last week about the vast number of Web 2.0 applications that are being used in corporate America – even though IT security feels that they have their environments locked down to prevent these apps from being used. In his Enterprise 2.0 blog, Steve Wylie commented on the NYT article, pointing out that “the reality is that these apps are here to stay.”
We’ve been tracking this trend for several years, and it’s definitely growing – in fact, many companies are now facing the reality head on. I spoke with a large pharma org in NJ very recently that mentioned they have already setup MySpace and Facebook pages to allow their corporate users to collaborate internally and externally using these tools.
Although this is probably frightening and new information for many security and compliance execs, this is the same trend we’ve seen happening since 2001 when this issue first appeared with the emergence of public IM usage within corporations. The customers we spoke with back then told us the same story that people are saying today which is, the user population feels that they should be able to use these applications because they make them more productive, responsive and connected employees.
From an IM perspective, this feeling turned out to be 100% true which is why so many companies are now broadly rolling out Enterprise IM and UC solutions. Based on that history, its important for executives to quickly understand that this trend will continue and if they want their organizations to stay relevant and competitive, they should move to implement solutions that allow for the enablement of these applications so they can be used in a secure and compliant fashion to take advantage of their value, rather than spend time and money trying to find ways to block their use outright.
A recent SC Magazine article also covers this trend very well. With Generation Z’s arrival in the workforce, IT faces a new group of workers who have “never taken a breath of air without being able to Google.”
What’s your opinion? Block or enable?