CIO increase collaboration spending as staff bypass social networking restrictions

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CIO increase collaboration spending as staff bypass social networking restrictions

Ian Grant

Eight out of 10 CIOs plan to increase their spending on collaboration tools, but more than half their staff already work around the restrictions they impose on social networking.

This emerged from a global survey for network equipment maker Cisco. More than a quarter of staff at organisations that ban social media applications admitted to changing the settings on their corporate devices to gain access, claiming they "need the tools to get the job done".

Researchers found that IT decision makers in China and India were the most lenient on the use of social network tools in the workplace. Video conferencing, web conferencing and internet protocol telephony were primary areas of investment.

Globally, 96% of IT decision makers and end users recognised that collaboration tools have a role to play in the future success of their business. Some 77% expected investment in collaboration tools to increase between now and October, and 56% expected their spending on collaboration tools to increase by 10% or more.

Productivity and efficiency were the expected primary benefits, with 69% of end users regularly using video and web conferencing to help them at work.

Staff were frustrated by IT managers' restrictions on the types of collaboration technologies that could be used at work, a lack of integration among the applications, non-compatible formats (video, data, voice), and the limited number of collaboration tools at their disposal.

This was because more than half of the IT decision makers polled said their policy was to ban the use of social media applications.

Half of IT workers and end users surveyed admitted to accessing prohibited applications once a week, and 27% admitted to changing the settings on their devices to gain access in order to "get the job done."

Companies benefitted from this disobedience, researchers found. Some 45% of end users said they were more productive and efficient, 40% noted they were helped in solving work-related problems, and 31% enjoyed faster decision making.

Ease of use (58%), the ability to communicate anywhere and at any time (45%), and features and functionality (37%) were the three most desired attributes of a device or application.

End users felt shut off from decision making (46%) and information sharing (39%).


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