Report: 2/3 Of European CIOs Still Block Facebook

By David Cohen 

Despite the emergence of Facebook and other social networks as valuable sales, marketing, and communications tools for businesses, a recent study of 550 chief information officers, IT directors and managers, and network managers in Europe found that 67 percent of them still block Facebook.

The study, by Easynet and Ipanema Technologies, also found that:

  • 60 percent of respondents block YouTube.
  • 49 percent block Twitter.
  • 56 percent block all online video.

Easynet Chief Technology Officer Justin Fielder said:

The gap between Generation X and Generation Y is becoming a chasm. This isn’t just about attracting and retaining young talent: It’s about how best to create a dialog with, and retain, your customers. Social media is oxygen to anyone under 30, and it’s vital for communication, education, and information. It has huge implications on business success. Business leaders — usually Generation X — have to understand this or they will find the future of their business in jeopardy.

A few of our customers have expressed concerns about the blurring of the network edge when staff want to use their own devices to access social media, but there are simple precautions they can take without the need for drastic measures like blocking social media access.

Ipanema Technologies Executive Vice President Thierry Grenot added:

Microsoft’s recent purchase of business social networking site Yammer demonstrates the importance of social networking in the workplace, but it seems that European CIOs have some catching up to do. Many of the anticipated challenges caused by employee usage of social media, such as its impact on the corporate network, have been solved, so it’s time for CIOs to look again at their policies in this area.

And Lisa Myers, CEO of search-engine optimization and social media agency Verve Search, said:

It’s a risky business to block social media networks, and I’m genuinely shocked at the statistic showing how many companies do this. The return on investment for social media is that your business will still be here in five years’ time. One-half of the human race is under 30 and has never known a world without the Internet. For these people, the Internet, and social media along with it, is a way of life. Businesses need to embrace power of social media and use it to improve their staff retention and their customer experience, not fight against it.

Readers: Have you ever worked for a company that blocked Facebook or other social networks?