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Global CIO: Will Social Media Kill The CIO?

As more employees blatantly flaunt IT policies, CIOs are getting crushed between security mandates and social's unstoppable momentum.
--social networking: 68%

--collaborative: 47%

--peer-to-peer: 47%

--cloud: 33%.

Some folks will see those numbers and say, "Those knucklehead CIOs just don't get it! Instead of trying to keep this cool new stuff out, they should welcome it all in!"

That glib remark might sound fashionable, but it glosses over another really ugly result from the study (my emphasis in bold):

"Nearly half (41 percent) of the respondents have determined that employees have been using unsupported devices, and more than one-third of that number said they have had a breach or loss of information due to unsupported network devices."

It's not just all sweet and innocent stuff that let's the cool new kids perform magic and run rings around the old fuddy-duddies, but CIOs are getting back into a corner for being too restrictive, too unimaginative, too old-fashioned, and too puckered-up.

But let me repeat what the survey found: "Nearly half (41 percent) of the respondents have determined that employees have been using unsupported devices, and more than one-third of that number said they have had a breach or loss of information due to unsupported network devices."

How about you—are you willing to take a 33% chance that you'll have a breach or loss of information in exchange for pumping up your cool factor? I think not.

The press release from Cisco included this comment from an industry analyst Chris Christiansen of IDC: "Increasingly, unapproved and unmanaged personal devices in the corporate environment are hastening the need for more intelligent security management. These 'solutions' must deal with the difficulty of protecting individuals and corporations while providing a positive user experience and corporate data access from any device, anywhere, anytime."

Fair enough. But I'd put it this way:

1) Social apps will kill those CIOs who don't maintain control of what's on the network.

2) Social apps will kill those CIOs who don't eagerly and sincerely embrace and encourage them.

3) CIOs need to find a way to reconcile those apparently irreconcilable realities.

Because the alternative is deadly.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: IBM And Hewlett-Packard Battle Over Booming Mobile Market

Global CIO: An Open Letter To Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Global CIO: 10 Reasons CIOs Will Get Fired This Year

Global CIO: Hewlett-Packard's Missing Link Is Analytics

Global CIO: How SAP Is Leading The Mobile-Enterprise Revolution

Global CIO: Google CEO Eric Schmidt's Top 10 Reasons Mobile Is #1

Global CIO: Will The Mobile Tipping Point Bury You?

Global CIO: Hewlett-Packard CEO Hurd Shifts Strategy Toward Services

Global CIO: IBM Claims Hardware Supremacy And Calls Out HP's Hurd

Global CIO: In Praise Of Mark Hurd's 9,000 Layoffs At Hewlett-Packard

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].