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Is social networking risky for the enterprise?


Maybe it’s because part of my day job is to interact with the IT community through my blog, Twitter and Facebook, but it seems to me that enterprise adoption of social media has quietly gone from being on the radical fringe to mainstream without as much as a “by your leave.”



And if an “experienced” (read: old :-) person like me is engaging in social media, then it’s a safe bet that daily use of these tools is de’rigueur amongst the Millennial generation. A fact that I recently had confirmed by the CTO of a major financial services company that discovered, to their great horror, that younger members of their development team were using social networking technologies to to collaborate on source code development. 


I guess if you’ve grown up sharing photos, music and movies amongst your friends then it probably doesn’t seem unusual that something as “mundane” as the source code for a corporate application would even raise an eyebrow. Doesn’t it just make you shudder to think what other creative uses social networking might be being put to in your enterprise? The traffic consumed, the assets shared and the potential time wasted on non-core social media activity (read: tending pumpkins in Farmville on the job vs value adding activity).


Someone who’s thought a lot about the topic is my colleague John Pirc. John and his team of security researchers have amassed some great case study data using web beacons to help them understand end-user behavior including where they spent their time, value generated and importantly security risks encountered. John will be presenting his findings at HP Discover June 4th-7th, including suggestions for educating your people, testing and revising corporate processes, and implementing correct security technologies. 


What are your governance policies for social networking technologies and how confident are you they’re being adhered to? 


Better still, come and see me at the Blogger’s Lounge at HP Discover and tell me in person, I think if you register now you can still save $300 off the entrance price. Simply enter code DSCVRSW when registering, assuming we’re not sold out!


If you want to know more about HP Discover Vegas 2012 check out



Paul Muller has a wealth of experience working with CIOs and VPs of IT improve IT performance and business alignment.
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About the Author


Paul Muller leads the global IT management evangelist team within the Software business at HP. In this role, Muller heads the team responsible for fostering HP’s participation in the IT management community, contributing to and communicating best-practice in helping IT perform better.


Hi Paul,


I think you are correct on both counts 1/ social media is mainstream and 2/ it is the way younger generation works.


There was a telling story about an elderly person who died. George a peer of his (age wise) called to give his condolenses. George's son, Bob sent a card. Bob's son Fred, Georges grandson, sent an email. When berated by his father Fred tell his father Bob "well I sent a formal email, I didn't just text".


Similarly I have some elderly friends who don't use a computer at all. 


It's all just what  you are used to. The current generation needs to take responsibilty for training the upcoming folks on how to use their tools wisely.



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