CIOs tighten the screw on what Twitterers can do

Social networking boom leads to IT policy revisions...
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

Social networking boom leads to IT policy revisions...

Many CIOs are reacting to the rise of social networking by implementing stricter IT policies, according to a survey published this week.

Use of social networking websites such as Facebook and microblogging service Twitter has mushroomed in recent years - leading some companies to become concerned about the potential security risks of social networking.


Has IT got its eye on your Twitter stream?
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While the majority (55 per cent) of CIOs polled reported making no change to their IT policies as a result of the rise of Twitter, Facebook and the rest, a significant proportion have tightened their policies on business and personal use of social media.

More than a third (38 per cent) of CIOs reported tightening up IT policies in response to social networking - with 23 per cent putting stricter policies in place for personal use of social media, and 15 per cent tightening up business use.

In contrast less than a fifth (17 per cent) have relaxed their IT policy in respect to social media - with 10 per cent adopting a more liberal attitude towards business use of the medium, and seven per cent moving to a more liberal stance when it comes to employees' personal use of the tools.

The survey, commissioned by IT recruitment company Robert Half Technology, polled 1,400 CIOs from companies based in the US with more than 100 employees.

"The challenge for companies is balancing the benefits of social media in the workplace with the risks," Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said in a statement.

He said companies are evaluating how to help their workforce use social networks in a way that is beneficial to the business - such as ensuring they keep pace with developments in their industry, promote their organisation and stay in touch with business contacts.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to social networking policies," Willmer added. "To be effective, guidelines should include input from stakeholders throughout the organisation, including IT, legal, human resources, marketing, public relations and front-line employees."

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