Businesses are allowing employees to access more social media sites compared to last year, new research has found.
A study of 650 IT decision makers from businesses in the UK, US and Europe with at least 1,000 employees found the number of companies blocking Facebook had dropped by 15% compared to 2012, while restrictions on YouTube dropped 17%.
However, businesses blocking access to LinkedIn had increased by 3% during the same period,
The report by Easynet Global Services and Ipanema Technologies found social media restrictions were most common in the US, with 69% and 65% of companies restricting access to Facebook and YouTube respectively.
Adrian Thirkill, COO and MD at Easynet Global Services, is encouraged that IT leaders are warming to social apps.
"But I do expect some IT teams will now be taking challenging, retrospective measures to protect the performance of business critical systems like ERP, CRM or Unified Communications," he said.
"We are committed to incorporating application visibility within our customer's networks so they can understand what's happening and how best to put pro-active measures in place that guarantee critical applications perform as necessary no matter how much secondary traffic the business generates."
Thierry Grenot, VP at Ipanema Technologies, said: "The challenge for those IT departments now though is to ensure that social media traffic is managed effectively and the performance of business critical applications is guaranteed.
Lisa Myers, CEO at Verve Search, added: "It's naive to think that by blocking these applications employees will be any more productive, it's part of life in 2013. Besides, it's unrealistic to think that by blocking social networks employees won't be logging in, especially as 60% of UK mobile phone users have a smartphone and can log in whenever they like."
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