Employee Awareness and Adherence to IT Policies

A recent article and study in Cisco Connected World Report “shows a disconnect between IT policies and workers”.

Some key findings from the study:

--  The study, which involved surveys of 2,600 workers and IT
    professionals in 13 countries, revealed that while most companies have
    IT policies (82 percent), about one in four employees (24 percent) are
    unaware that such policies exist. An additional 23 percent reported
    that their companies do not have IT policies on acceptable device
    usage. When combined, almost half of the workers in the study (47
    percent) either do not have an IT policy on device usage or do not
    know that one exists.

--  For those employees who have an IT policy, 35 percent say IT does not
    provide an explanation or rationale for why it exists, which can
    result in apathy, misunderstanding and selective compliance.

--  Among workers aware of IT policy, about two of three (64 percent) feel
    it could use some improvement. These employees believe policies could
    be updated to reflect real-world needs and work styles, such as
    finding an acceptable medium between device usage, social media,
    mobility and work flexibility.

--  Of those employees who admit to breaking IT policies, about two of
    every five (41 percent) say it's because they need restricted programs
    and applications to get the job done -- they're simply trying to be
    more productive and efficient.

--  One of five (20 percent) employees worldwide said they break IT policy
    because they believe their company or IT team will not enforce it.

--  This research points to an issue among many businesses worldwide: the
    need to re-evaluate and update IT policies to align with the growing
    reality of a workforce that is demanding more enablement to be
    connected anywhere, anytime, with any device and any information in
    their work and personal lives.

IT Policy Toward Employee Use of Social Media, Devices

--  Social media use is restricted to varying degrees around the world and
    per company. Although half (51 percent) of the employees surveyed
    worldwide believe social media, while not work-related, contributes to
    work-life balance, two of five (41 percent) said they are restricted
    from using Facebook at their job, and one of three (35 percent) is
    restricted from using Twitter at work or with work devices.

--  More than one in four (28 percent) workers are restricted from using
    instant messaging at work or with work devices, and one in five (21
    percent) are restricted from doing personal e-mail on work devices and
    during work hours.

--  Two of every three employees (64 percent) believe their IT teams and
    companies should loosen up and allow social media use during work
    hours with work devices, citing work-life balance as a key reason,
    particularly because many of them can work in a mobile, distributed
    fashion and put in longer hours as a result.

--  The use of personal devices like iPads and iPhones is also restricted
    to some degree. Globally, almost one in five (18 percent) employees
    are not allowed to use their iPods at work, and almost one in five (18
    percent) are restricted from using personal devices like
    employee-owned laptops or phones.

--  The majority of employees (66 percent) believe they should be able to
    connect freely with any device -- personal or company-issued -- and
    access the applications and information that they need around the
    clock. Policy or no policy, many employees will simply do it, raising
    the question about how effective a policy is and how IT can update,
    enforce and ensure better compliance.

The Rise of Video in the Workplace

--  The use of video is on the rise as a form of consumer and enterprise
    communication. Globally, more than two-thirds of IT professionals (68
    percent) feel that the importance of video communications to their
    company will increase in the future. This sentiment is particularly
    true among those in Mexico (85 percent), China (85 percent), Brazil
    (82 percent), and Spain (82 percent).

--  However, not all employees who wish to use video communications in the
    workplace are able to do so today. About two in five employees (41
    percent) said they cannot use video as a communications tool at work,
    with more than half of employees in the United States (53 percent),
    the United Kingdom (55 percent), Germany (55 percent) and France (60
    percent) not having the capability of using video for workplace

About the Study

--  The study was commissioned by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, a
    third-party market research firm based in the United States.

--  Cisco commissioned the study to maintain its understanding of
    present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to address
    employee and business needs amid increasing mobility capabilities,
    security risks, and technologies that can deliver applications and
    information more ubiquitously -- from virtualized data centers and
    cloud computing to traditional wired and wireless networks.

--  The global study focuses on two surveys -- one centering on employees,
    the other on IT professionals. Each survey included 100 respondents
    from each of the 13 countries, resulting in a survey pool of 2,600

--  The 13 countries include Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany,
    India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the
    United States.
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