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Social media policy isn't all about IT: CIOs

Social media policy ‘not only an IT issue’
Open Universities general manager of operations, Michelle Beveridge, Foxtel CIO, Robyn Elliot, Office of State Revenue CIO, David Kennedy, and CIO Executive Council general manager, Caroline Bucknell

Open Universities general manager of operations, Michelle Beveridge, Foxtel CIO, Robyn Elliot, Office of State Revenue CIO, David Kennedy, and CIO Executive Council general manager, Caroline Bucknell

A panel of CIOs have agreed developing a workplace social media policy around the use of sites like Twitter is not exclusively an IT issue.

The panel met as part of the CIO Summit 2010 in Sydney this week, and comprised newly appointed general manager of operations at Open Universities Australia, Michelle Beveridge, Foxtel's eight-year CIO, Robyn Elliot, and David Kennedy, the CIO for the Office of State Revenue.

Beveridge explained why Open Universities Australia has adopted a social media policy and why it is so important to the organisation.

“Open Universities Australia has a policy around social media and we have a broad range of people that are involved with us. This policy focuses on our connections with customers as well as an employee point of view,” Beveridge told attendees at the summit.

David Kennedy said social media is just another channel of communication for the Office of State Revenue.

“The IT group were asked to write the social media policy and we said it wasn’t about the technology. Until people understand their responsibility to social media, they constitute a risk,” he said.

“It’s not the tool that’s creating the issue it’s a management issue. It’s about managing the people not the tool,” Beveridge said in agreement with Kennedy.

Robyn Elliot said Foxtel employees are beginning to blur the boundaries between their personal and work life with the use of social media, and restricting this wouldn’t be an effective move on her part.

"My approach was on a risk approach and risk assessment point of view, and implementing certain policies for those,” she said.

While all three CIOs saw the positives of using social media, they did stress a business’ reputation can be damaged in the world of Web 2.0.

“Search for your organisation on Twitter and see what’s going on. You’ll never know who those people are but they’re talking about your company. You should pick up patterns from this at take action and fix those problems. People are talking about it for a reason,” Elliot said.

(See the CIO Summit 2010 in pictures)

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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Tags: Office of state revenue, social media policy, Robyn Elliot, Web 2.0, CIO Summit 2010, twitter, foxtel, Open Universities, Michelle Beveridge
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