It predicts that over 70% of IT-led social media initiatives in the enterprise over the next two years will fail, while organisations that allow business, rather than IT, to lead the way in social media implementations will achieve a success rate of around 50%. Beyond 2012, positive results will become more commonplace as IT departments take a “calculated approach” to technology.
I have written before (eg: Ban social media …) about how IT departments can block effective adoption of Web 2.0, often prompting employees to find work-arounds or to use non-corporate IT devices. Numerous architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) organisations have social media footprints of which their managers and directors are unaware. I demonstrated this last year, and I’ve heard repeated examples of it, including one just last week.
At my London Constructing Excellence Club talk (post), one questioner said his organisation (an internationally-renowned engineering consultancy) had blocked all social networking sites (or so he thought). I subsequently received an email from him:
… since the event I have bitten the bullet and joined LinkedIn as well as also looked into my company’s presence on Facebook. Despite it being one of the sites that we are prevented from accessing as part of our computer policy, we would seem to have three business groupings on FB! I will have to investigate further how this squares with our policy together with our social media web policy/guidance.
The horse has already bolted; it’s no good bolting the stable door. The directors and IT department need to take a “calculated” and constructive approach, encouraging their Facebook-using employees to adopt a responsible approach to their use of the site and of other social platforms. Let’s face(book) it: trying to ban people talking about their work online is like trying to stop employees discussing work in the pub: it’s almost impossible.