In many companies around the country, there is a growing disconnect between the IT department and other organizational departments, especially with regard to current technology used by the company. Part of this disconnect is due to natural causes, since the language spoken by IT personnel is often quite different from normal business jargon, but in other cases, non-IT personnel simply prefer to seek solutions on their own.
This represents a clear communications breakdown which can lead to a number of security vulnerabilities, and some serious errors as well. As a manager of an organization, it is incumbent upon you to bring these two groups of people together, so that possible security breaches can be avoided, and all company personnel can be working together toward the accomplishment of business objectives.
The Millennial Mentality
Millennial’s at your place of business have all grown up in a world which was tightly connected by the Internet, and for all of them, finding answers to any questions they had has been a simple matter of just Googling for it. This has fostered the kind of mentality which is characterized by reliance on themselves, when it’s necessary to find out any kind of tech-related information.
While this is admirable up to a point, it can definitely cause problems for your company, because any information learned through generic searches will provide generic answers, rather than information specific to your company. Making matters worse, most staff members today are now used to having the absolute latest in available technology, with their laptops being top-of-the-line and their smartphones being the very latest on the market.
Because of their dissatisfaction with the level of technology provided by IT, a number of staff people simply prefer to do their own information searches, because they are unhappy with technology provided by the company. This has also lead many staffers to seek out apps which they need to handle certain business functions, and none of these apps will have gone through company security protocols.
Usage of Non-sanctioned Software
Because of the dissatisfaction with existing company technology, a number of young staffers commonly turn to apps which they discover online, and which will satisfy some business requirement they have. However, this can cause a number of security issues, especially if these apps are used to transmit or store business-critical data belonging to the company.
When some of the younger people in your organization feel that technology provided to them is inadequate, they can also develop a perception that the CIO is out of touch with the organization, and is unwilling to provide current technology. A serious vulnerability can develop in your company’s cyber security when some staff personnel begin to feel that the organization is unwilling to provide adequate IT support, and that’s how the usage of non-sanctioned software can slowly creep in.
Changing Staff Perception
In order to combat the prevailing sentiment described above, a firm commitment by management is necessary, so that IT policies are thoroughly explained to all staff members. People are always much more willing to accept decisions and policies which are explained to them, rather than being in the dark about matters, and simply being forced to accept any results of those decisions.
In this case, it should be clearly conveyed to staff members why there is a strong need to restrict information to authorized applications only, and what the consequences are of any kind of data breach. When your staff members understand exactly what the issues are, and how those issues will impact everyone in the company, including themselves, they should be more willing to accept any restrictions imposed.
On the other hand, if there is serious resistance to accepting company policies regarding technology and the restriction of various applications and software, it might be a good time for the CIO and other IT members to have a significant conversation with staff members. If there really are areas of deep inadequacy, this will be brought to light in a brainstorming session, and some avenues for possible remediation can be discussed.
The main thing to remember about all this is that there should be an honest and open discussion with staff members about why policies have been implemented, while at the same time understanding their complaints about potentially inadequate software or technology.
Training on New Technology
When new software is made available to staff members in your organization, it would be a terrific idea to hold training sessions for everyone, so they can quickly get up to speed on how to make best use of that new software. A good way to get the masses on board is to choose champions for the new technology, who can influence their fellow department members to embrace and excel in using the new software.
It’s extremely important to maintain good relations between the IT staff and all other non-IT departments, in order to accomplish company objectives. With this being the case, all possible efforts should be focused on establishing and maintaining good communications between the two groups, and if regularly scheduled meetings will help to accomplish that, that should definitely be a company goal.