Under Pressure, Unprepared: SMBs and Web 2.0Is web 2.0 a little passé by now? If it is, it makes this latest data a little unfortunate. According to a poll by SpamTitan Technologies, 76% of small and mid-size business surveyed stated that they are under pressure to allow more access to Web 2.0.

Unprotected, Unprepared

If we can agree that web 2.0 has come and evolved, knowing that 44.4% said that they do not have security in place to protect from Web 2.0 specific threats makes things a little uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

With the social enterprise apps market predicted to grow from US$ 600 million in 2011 to US$ 6.4 billion by 2016, SMBs are in for a wake-up call as they battle to make IT budgets stretch to deliver new tools without any downside. Social business applications, as we know it, are sneaky. As they open up new business opportunities and networks for customer engagement, they can also expose businesses to new risks that can compromise security and reduce network productivity.

If You Fail to Plan...

So how can they become better prepared? A strategic and structured approach to social media is a start. Without a social media or corporate internet usage policy, many SMBs are vulnerable to potentially crippling business vulnerabilities. SpamTitan suggests SMBs and their HR and IT teams consider asking the following to help create effective and secure social media strategies and policies.

  • Does your company have classified information -- customer data, accounts, banking information etc. -- that if corrupted or stolen would ruin your business and could leave you liable legally?
  • How long can you afford to shut your system down and what will the productivity and financial costs be?
  • Which specific individuals and departments need access to these tools for business purposes?
  • Does your company have an IT and application user policy in place; and do you have the tools required to manage access?

Will any of this make it easier to provide access to web 2.0 applications? Probably. But it won’t ease the burden when it comes to other technology integration. Only significant cultural and organizational change will make it easier to adapt to changing social business landscapes.