The Business-Technology Weave

Nov 23 2010   11:29AM GMT

Don’t Be a Blockhead: Block… or Define…



Posted by: David Scott
Tags:
applications
blocking applications
blocking apps
business policy
facebook
IT policy
third-party apps
unauthorized applications
unauthorized apps

 

What’s a poor IT leader to do?  Whether you’re CIO/CTO, IT Director, IT Manager, Network Manager, Programmer, Business Analyst… or the real glue of the IT department – HelpDesk – you’re coming across more and more people doing more and more of their own thing.

You know, blending “friending” and “businessing” in the course of their day… and perhaps worse, doing it on and through apps that are… um… forbidden at worst and simply unapproved at best.

How about Business’ take on all of this?  Half the time senior execs and mid-level business managers are either clueless, uncaring, or even supportive.  Frequently, their shrug of “whatever gets business done,” is simple ignorance for all of the security holes and lack of accountability for content, as shared via apps that are outside the control of the organization.  What of a recent, critical, online business conversation – supposedly documenting agreements and forward progressions – that went down a rabbit hole and simply disappeared?  Hey, no problem, we’ve got the content right here on this backuuuuuu   uhhh…….. oops, no we don’t.

Consider the plethora (ah, finally – a chance to use “plethora”) of apps for communication and share:  blogger; AIM; YouTube; Skype; Twitter; MegaUpload; NewsGator, Facebook… we could go on and on.

In the case of Facebook, things are becoming a bit complicated:  Facebook started as a basic “wall” that allowed posts and communication on that wall.  However, it now has a chat mechanism, and an e-mail system.  Further, Facebook has morphed into an applications platform, with innumerable apps – and more being developed all the time. 

IT leaders, in concert with savvy Business counterparts, must identify what’s “out there”, and do one of two things:

1)     Block unwanted, unauthorized, outside apps.

 

- or –

 

2)     Define allowed use of specific apps and systems – by virtue of your policies and user education.

Actually, there’s a third thing you must do:  Make certain that all in the organization understand that they are not to start making de facto use of apps and tools that are outside the organization’s virtual four walls simply because an individual stumbles on something, decides it looks good, and thus begins conducting official  business on it or through it.

Tackle this now, before it tackles you.

November 23rd:  On this day in 1848 the Female Medical Educational Society was founded in Boston

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