Monday, January 21, 2008

Companies Push & Shove Over Social Networking

The Retail Bulletin

Social networking sites costs UK plc £6.5 billion in lost productivity

The recent popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are costing UK corporations close to £6.5 billion annually in lost productivity, according to a poll conducted by Information security consultancy - Global Secure Systems (GSS) and Infosecurity Europe 2008

The poll was carried out amongst 776 office workers, who admitted to spending at least 30 minutes a day visiting social networking sites whilst at work, that's a minimum of 10 hours a month which equates to 3 weeks of every year with two respondents who were so hooked that the spend 3 hours visiting these sites "After analysing the traffic patterns, however, we realised that around 25 per cent of our Web usage was for social networking sites such as Facebook. After locking down this traffic and just allowing staff to view these sites during their lunch hour or after work, we found we didn't actually need to upgrade our bandwidth after all and have saved a considerable amount in the upgrade costs everyday"

The end result is potentially billions of pounds in lost productivity maintain GSS, plus the extra demand on bandwidth which is an additional cost to a business in terms of efficiency, maintenance and resources. In a recent meeting held by Infosecurity Europe 2008 with 20 CISOs one of their biggest IT concerns for 2008 was how to manage social networking sites at work, with many estimating that between 15% and 20% of their current bandwidth is being taken up with social networking sites and for many the best move forward is to ban these sites altogether.

Claire Sellick Infosecurity Europe Event Director said “It would appear that most CISO and IT Directors loathe social networking sites and if they had their way would ban them completely, but what is also coming across loud and clear is that the HR departments actually welcome the use of these sites - so there is a lot of internal pushing and shoving going on between HR and IT over how best to manage these sites.”

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