Home / Industry / Socialmedia: Indian offices most restrictive

Bangalore: Social media tools may be a rave among a section of Internet users but enterprises, particularly in India, have restrictive policies that prevent their employees from using these to their business advantage.

Also See No Access (Graphics)

A 10-nation study that surveyed information technology (IT) decision makers and end users in 10 countries, released on Wednesday, said 52% of organizations prohibit the use of social media applications or similar collaboration tools at work. India, with 96% of its IT decision makers admitting to prohibiting the use of these tools in the workplace, ranks on top in viewing these tools through the security prism, followed by the UK, Italy and Japan.

The biggest reason cited by Indian IT decision makers is security. Each employee having a specific way of working, cost, and the difficulty to actually get employees to use technology are other barriers to adoption of various collaboration technologies.

Commissioned by Cisco Inc., the study shows that globally, 50% of the end users ignore company policy and 27% admit to changing the settings on corporate devices to get access to prohibited applications, with many of them saying they need these technologies to do their jobs.

Tim Stone, head of collaboration solutions marketing, Cisco Europe, said in countries such as India, the barrier is also cultural. In India, specifically, the study found that companies are very hierarchical and decisions are made by a few people at the top, Stone said over telephone from the UK.

Indian executives said it’s difficult to find right information and right colleagues to connect with while solving problems.

The study surveyed 2,023 end users and 1,011 information technology decision makers. And though IT decision makers were not very high on social media tools, 77% of them said they expect investment in audio, video and Web-based collaboration tools to increase between now and October.

Graphics by Yogesh Kumar / Mint

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