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Social Media & IT Governance

Earlier this week, I was sat on a conference call with a group of higher education IT professionals who were reviewing a survey that is destined for members of an association we all belong to.  The survey is on the topic of “social media” and how our respective organizations are engaging this environment.  At one point someone suggested that a question be posed about how organizations are applying IT governance to social media.  This actually caught me off gaurd for two reasons.  First, my own organization’s use of social media is championed by our marketing department, with little if any influence by the organizations IT department.  Second, since the resources that host social media exists in the cloud or on the Internet, our organization’s IT department has little interest in getting involved.  Now I’m not saying that corporate governance or business governance isn’t involved, I’m just saying that from my perspective IT has had little to say about how outside, hosted, or cloud resources are utilized.

In talking with my own organization’s Director of Social Media (who works within my organization’s Marketing department), the only IT governance reference given related to use of the organizations computers and to ensure that statements within the organization’s “Acceptable Use of Technology” policy were applicable for individuals to engage in social media.  As I’ve read some on this topic, the opinions I’m seeing trend more to the concept of Business Governance and the purposeful, strategic, and guided use of social media as an extension of the organization’s communications platform. 

I am sure this question will continue to linger, and I know I’ll continue to watch as more organizations dive into the realm of social media.

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