Government CIOs Must Manage Diverse Work Styles
Managed diversity requires CIOs to not immediately try to shut down work styles, but rather learn how and why employees are using mobile group collaboration apps and services.
The proliferation of social media tools are blurring the distinction between digital work styles that could be described as routine (using user-owned apps and devices) and nonroutine (using company-provided commercial apps and devices). Familiarity with using free, or low-cost, and fast-to-implement commercial messaging apps, and making use of bring your own device (BYOD) policies foster informal information exchanges. These nonroutine exchanges are also making government CIOs more dependent on operations and services from nongovernment actors.
We asked Jeff Vining, research vice president at Gartner, to explain how government CIOs can address the risks of social media proliferation on workforce management ahead of Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 in Barcelona, being held November 8-12.
Can CIOs and others keep track of, and monitor, such nonroutine work styles?
One approach is to use persona-management-type tools and practices to unify digital workplace strategies and technologies with existing social media and mobile messaging apps. Persona management helps employees and managers keep track of, communicate, and control what they are saying and the data they are using.
While this approach may not have always been applicable to personal devices — as employees use them daily, continually switching personas from employee to citizen — this is changing. Today’s persona management tools are no longer a separate toolkit. They are being integrated with other social media tools to ensure compliance and social risk management.
How can CIOs unify the use of social media and mobile app messaging internally?
It’s a tricky situation. Clearly doing nothing and leaving employees alone to manage how they conduct their digital personas is not an option. In the past, CIOs have published and revised training sessions and policies. They have also deployed tools based on semantic analyses to spot-check, archive, retrieve and filter postings across social networking sites, forums or hosted communities, and activity feeds. However, as social media networks, platforms and mobile messaging apps proliferate, they become part of the digital work style. At the same time, certain legal mandates remain.
Any strategy begins with knowing the context in which employees are exchanging data, and from what types of networks, platforms, devices and apps.
To accommodate different digital work styles, and to unify routine and nonroutine work styles more manageably, CIOs should seek to deliver a more collaborative, social-, mobile- and data-driven work environment that is better able to exploit changing business conditions. In this way, the work environment is much more likely to match a more consumerlike computing environment, making employees more agile and engaged.
Is managed diversity the answer?
CIOs should certainly be prepared for managed diversity as work styles meld. To succeed, it requires fresh thinking in managing nonroutine work styles, within their context, for privacy and security. Managed diversity requires CIOs to not immediately try to shut down work styles (such as using mobile group collaboration apps), but rather learn how and why employees are using such apps and services.
CIOs should also address privacy and security needs with new technology vendor offerings that are focused on scenarios around group messaging, interacting with content, and coordinating tasks.
Gartner analysts will further discuss digital government strategies at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, being held November 8-12 in Barcelona.
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives. IT executives rely on these events to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to overcome business challenges and improve operational efficiency.
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 include: November 8-12, Barcelona, Spain
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