Many Young Workers Admit to Breaking IT Rules

Friday, January 13, 2012, 12:33 PM


According to a recent Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 70% of young employees and college students are aware of IT policies at work but admit to breaking the rules with regularity.

What?! I can hear my IT guy starting to rant in the background.

Hold on…to give the "kids" credit, the same study said that most common reason (33%) for rule-breaking is that the younger employees don't know they are doing anything wrong. And, let's face it, we're human and can't always read the manual. And the study also said that 15% of the time, it was a matter of forgetting about the policy.

For these two reasons, boundaries and IT policies need to be established and enforced. To be efficient and productive, IT guys must set boundaries, which in turn, help train younger folks or new hires about rules. Rules are needed to conduct business efficiently, to reduce help desk incidents, to keep costs down, and to keep data safe.

On the other hand, the Cisco study said that lack of enforcement (15%) and the inconvenience of adhering to policies (16%) are also contributors to the IT rule breaking. Now, I can imagine my IT guy getting pretty steamed. I've got to remind him that people are inherently good (at least that's what the study showed).

The trend toward BYOD or bring your own mobile device to work is only making this problem worse. Give the IT guy the tools he needs and then get out of the way.