Gartner Symposium Speakers to IT: Leave Social Media Alone

Analysts speaking at Gartner Symposium ITXPO 2009 urged information-technology departments to be a little more social, CNET reported.

Speakers said IT departments shouldn’t block social-networking sites or other contact with the outside world, adding that employees must also be more aware of the ramifications of using those sites.

Gartner vice president Carol Rozwell said:

Banning access to social media from the corporate network is futile. The world we live in is digitally enabled and socially connected.

While a job may be regarded as an economic transaction, the human brain thinks of the workplace as a social system. (Social networking can make employees) feel valued, a part of a community, and earn the respect of peers.

We can’t stop social networking, but harnessing the passion of employees and educating them about the responsibilities is essential.

Gartner VP Paul Proctor added:

You cannot protect yourself from everything. You must learn to balance risk and performance. The cloud and software as a service have appeal, but they introduce a huge shift in how technology is managed and controlled.

Don’t try to shut down the two-way flow of information, because you can’t stop it. Transparency is in. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.