Over the past 10 years we have all watched the integration of the internet into the business environment evolve. Today I am part of an organisation that lives and breathes social in the cloud. Before that I worked at an organisations that had a fear of social media. Like many others they were scared of what employees could potentially do with access to youtube and Facebook. And pre-that I slugged away at an organisation that had a fear of the internet in general.
I thought those days had long gone. That the discussion of having to explain why-employees-need-access-to-the-www folded when why-your-business-needs-a-website entered the stage, which then passed the baton to-what-is-social-media, who then gave the spotlight to why-your-company-needs-an-enterprise-social-network. I thought that this was the general, and overly simplified, evolution of internet in the work space.
But I was wrong.
Today I watched a friend of mine nearly fall of his chair as we were told by a business colleague that sections of their organisation in Australia didn’t have access to the internet. Oh you mean social media we obligingly nodded. No. The internet. All of it. ‘They only see the intranet and get frustrated if we have external links because they can’t access them’. Yep. My friend turned pale. ‘What if you have to check the weather’ I innocently asked? No response.
It took us a while to get over the shock. In moments of silence one of us would mutter… ‘I can’t believe it. Blocked. From the internet.’ And shake our head.
So some organisations in Australia haven’t evolved past stage one. We are a democratic, developed country. And they still have a fear of the internet. People come to work and step back in time. How frustrating, disconnected, untrusting and inefficient. As I sat listening to this story I thought three things; Why would people still work here? How will this company stay competitive? And I guess people would just use their phones to check the weather? Dumb question Sarah. I was in shock.