Worst case: Employee walks off with your company data and Dropbox is installed on four of her computers. Nuff said.
Gina Smith is a NYT best-selling author of iWOZ, the biography of Steve Wozniak. She is a vet tech journalist and chief of the geek tech site, aNewDomain.net.
Disagree with Skype being on the blacklist when it is used for company purposes and reduces the overall telco charges. Using it for long calls to support companies in other states is a cost saving, not a cost drain. Such enterprising efforts should eb rewarded. Besides, if people would have used their desk phone or company mobile to make their personal calls, this is a cost drain in itself.
Ok, so how about if you use a machine owned by the company, and use it to connect to the internet over the connection paid for by the company, and "do" your personal "business" . Ethically and legally that is theft, just as is taking home some paper clips or pens. That is why some people do need to be treated like naughty little boys and girls. I would like to slap users when they say "My computer..this or that" Unless you own the company then no it is not your computer, desk, chair, pen, paper, coffee cup etc etc :)
With the exception of games, I think these are tools used in some corporate cultures and management needs to weigh the risks of not using online applications before banning them.
I think if there is a problem, it's not the company, it's the employee. Employees need to be mature enough to understand that they need to work and do their job. Companies need to treat employees with respect and not treat them like little boys that need boundaries. My company doesn't block these apps, only some streaming (youtube, probably to avoid slowing the network) and obviously downloading content to protect customer data. If the job is done and deadlines are met, they can't care less. If the employee is irresponsible, they deal with him and don't penalize everybody else for his actions (or lack of work ethics).
Evernote is equivalent to one's own notebook so that is the dangerous side of it. It is also very similar to Dropbox. Dropbox is horrible, it is an open door to storehouses of information. It is designed for personal sharing, although there maybe upgrades to handle security, but out of the box almost anyone can give access to anyone. One of the biggest issues with dropbox, once it is out there you can't get it back. Yes people can accomplish similar things with Skydrive or other Google, yahoo, and email web services. There is a difference between sharing a file to someone and storing important documentation dangerously. If something is easily shared then it is easily shared. Like no IT department ever had to restore from backup because dave deleted a folder, well that will happen on dropbox. Welcome to Crap Creek, you will not be needing that paddle. I personally find it ridiculous that people get ticked that their personal information is lost or stolen or unprotected then when it comes to the company they work for it is OK to just give that info out. IT/IS is to protect the life blood of an organization, information. There are other ways to accomplish what some of these applications and services do, that protect the data of an organization. They just might not be free.
With attitudes like that, our company will never make it to any sort of a future, quite likely including the one labeled "next quarter". If I ever find myself working for an organization that has that much fearful contempt for their staff, I'll be sure to instead find gainful employment immediately. Hint to the PHBs: we don't live in a top-down, command-and-control world anymore, if we ever did; why run a Soviet or Singaporean company in the Internet age? Leaving the games aside, every single app on that list has business value; how many companies don't use Skype, for example? Let your competition waste money and PHB time on flying people all over the planet for a few hours' worth of meetings; you can use the time to actually, you know, create business value. and I continue to be amazed and appalled by how bad this commenting system is; if you're not going to allow HTML, then at least give people SOME way to do paragraph breaks and minimal formatting. Markdown, Wikitext, any of a dozen other formats... I can see that the Soviet mentality is alive and well at CBS Interactive.
This sounds like it was written by an IT Security dude at my previous employer. One living in the 90's and who delighted in justifying blocking everything as the perfect security answer. Say goodbye to attracting and retaining the smartest and best people if this is your mindset.
Dunno, maybe someone missed the train to the future here ... If ones concern is "losing money" because employees have access to internet, and its technologies including apps, one needs to seriously consider doing something else for a living, rather than trying to keep the lids on a med-evil little business scheme which is marked for doom anyways.
I'm IT/IS director for a small school district. While I wouldn't want teachers or students frittering away time playing Angry Birds during school time, Dropbox and Evernote have proven to be very valuable tools for teachers and students; I wouldn't dream of blocking them. For students, we block Facebook during school hours, but open it up after school. We emphasize digital citizenship rather than trying to block every conceivable problem website. Facebook and Twitter are not blocked for teachers at all, but we will discuss appropriate use with a teacher who appears to be spending class time on FB rather than teaching/supervising/mentoring students. Angry Birds can be a good tool for demonstrating and learning some basic principles of physics.
Most of the comments here suggest that the Company is coming down on them with some draconian measures purely to make their lives miserable. More likely they are protecting assets (information), trying to improve security, expecting people to work (that's why they call it that), and stop people from unwhittingly breaking licensing agreements. Using Facebook for a few minutes during a break isn't the issue. Neither will it stop someone from causing damage (intentional or not). Outright blocking with no explanation will create employee discontent. Ultimately, I believe the manager is responsible for observing employee behavior and correcting when necessary.
And here I thought corporate serfdom died in the 90s. There was a study I heard mentioned on Tech News Today a while back that mentioned if employees (or peons to the article author) had a little bit of 'me' time on the internet, they were actually MORE productive.
And I suppose when they ban every conceivable app like Evernote, the next thing they'll have to do is ban pencil and paper. Oh, and email's got to go. Wouldn't want anyone sending notes of the corporate meeting to their personal gmail address. Perhaps the answer is to leave any and every intelligent device (and/or mammal) at the front door, remove every USB or other external port from every computer, reinstall DOS on each of them, and snip all the T lines at the trunks. Who knows, maybe we'll see the return of 300 baud modems with phone cradles for our connections to Compuserve. Wow! And everyone told me I was nuts for saving all those old rotary-dial phones!
@Jeff, I cannot agree more. We do a lot of international business, and Skype and Dropbox are valuable business tools. Even a "time waster" like Facebook is working well for us. It all depends on the mindset of both management and employees - if the employees are loyal and deliver what they should, equip them with the tools they need, and also give a little leeway on the social and fun stuff. It creates a great working environment and good morale.
I don't think a 'small school district' would be considered an 'enterprise' organisation. A lot of these tool a very beneficial for smaller organisations but an absolute nightmare for others.