Experience has shown me that the IT security element within my organisation is extremely risk averse (i work within the Nuclear Industry) and that any attempt to introduce social networking, knowledge sharing platforms etc will be met with a resounding NO.

Does anybody have any pragmatic ideas/arguments that I can use to persuade them? I missed Mark Oelherts session on this at #lt10uk, so if anybody has seen any posts anywhere on this session, links would be greatly sopreciated.


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this is the story that finally allowed me to get ning removed from my Dept of Defense watch list: http://whatsbrewin.nextgov.com/2009/02/disa_lands_ning_ceo.php
Such an interesting topic this and I wanted to share this story that I've just been reading.

"Keith Crosley, director at security specialist Proofpoint, said: "The public wants to be able to trust all employees in such sensitive jobs and doesn't want them playing fast and loose when they log onto their computers. Police officers and Ministry of Justice officials are supposed to be upholding the rules and regulations - not breaking them.”"

Now that's what I call putting a spin on a story!! It's a totally irrelevant statement in this context...
To give you some idea of the problems...

Applied to IT for some freeware apps to be installed on my PC to assist me in developing some e-learning.

Audacity... no
PowerPoint/Youtube plug in... No
HTC Sync (to test exported e-learning formats)... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Give me strength!
Hi Craig,

Did they give any reasons?

Against policy to install freeware. EXCEPTIONAL circumstances 'may' allow their installation, but a cost of £6000, (you haven't misread that, there 3 zeros in that quote) for EACH installation.

I'm in the wrong game!!!!
Hi Craig,

I find that using the description "open-source" rather than "freeware" can get a better response from IT people. Freeware often implies dodgy, whereas open-source is a well-known and proven development model.

Don't know if that will help in your case though!

Hi Mark,

I didn't categorise it as 'freeware' when I put the request in, they used that term. I take your pint onboard though... perhaps I should have hung the Open Source title on it from the beginning.

Hindsight eh?

On a slighly different note, I have sent you an email in relation to your SAP/Moodle integration and the possibilty of visiting you to see it in action. I'd appreciate you letting me know your thoughts when you get back to work (I got your out of office reply)


I've got a meeting next week with Kineo and a further meeting next month with Mark Berthelemy to discuss a SAP/Moodle integration. I'm hoping that by bringing any future platform 'in-house' I will be able to negate the archaic mentality of my organisation's policy makers.

Of course, I'm sure I will then face the "why can't you use the SAP Learning Solutions?"....

.... I feel another discussion post coming on!
I mentioned earlier in the thread that i was due to speak to our IS colleagues. Of course, all the usual issues came out but 2 particualr points I made seemed to catch their attention:

1) Use of Open Source tools such as Tweetdeck, ITunes (for ItunesU), MSN Messenger etc - I was challenged on the cost of internal deployment, testing them in our infrastructure and in particular, our operating systems, browsers and the like.
One of my responses to that was simple: Twitter, for example, has already been tested on every operating system and browser known to man and probably a few that aren't. In short, we CAN use these things - next objection please!

2) Content control - how do we control what our staff say on Facebook and Twiiter if we give them access? Simply put, we can't control them now? I was able to talk also about some specific examples we had on an external site recently when we were "rightsizing"

3) The one that really hit the spot were some simple stats based on staff turnover and known retirement dates. Using the oft quoted "all our knowledge walks out of the door and night and we hope it comes back the next day", the data clearly showed that in the worse case scenario, in 5 yrs time, 50% of the people here now will NOT be coming back and their knowledge is gone with them unless we do sometying about capturing it. The use of our social media tools has a clear role to play in this.

Finally, they also got Mark O's "trust the pilots" piece.

Hope this helps.



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