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IT Ethics & How they Impact Work Productivity !!

Stacey White

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Every step taken towards advancement of IT is accompanies by one ethical quandary at-least. From Facebook to email updates, users find it difficult to strike a balance between ethics and profit. Businesses, individuals and software developers should consider pros and cons of harnessing IT every day. Basic issues underlying the principles are user expectations of privacy and moral duties on how to use applications or email sensibly.

If you’re spending around two hours on Facebook or similar website, it seriously distracts from the tasks actually needed to be accomplished. This is a pessimistic use of IT however using computers and telecommunication devices to share, exchange data increases work productivity. It helps a business to flourish more quickly and achieve desired goals.

Data Mining
It refers to the process of converting numbers, words or any other data into distinguishable patterns. Data mining activities when practised by responsible agencies or businesses can easily determine a probable next attempt of terrorist or buying behaviour among demographic groups. It goes beyond the spectrum, interfering in day-to-day activities of individuals who’re not even involved in any malicious act. The practice is considered invasion of privacy at times as cited by IT ethics expert and civil libertarians.

Social Networking – How Viral can it get?
No doubt, social networking bridged the gap between countries and people living worlds-apart, allowing smooth interaction but also raised several IT ethical issues. In 2007, Facebook launched a program known as “Beacon” that can convert a user’s personal information into an advertisement. It enhanced cohesion between active members however developers failed to create option for whoever wishes to relay personal data can join the act.

Beacon” soon backfired for extracting data and severely disrupting privacy boundaries but damage was already done! Another ethical dilemma of social media is security measures they must used during user registration process. Results of several abductions during the years were linked with MySpace, raising concerns about lack of security and privacy. Whenever remote IT infrastructure is a concern, user privacy and data security tops everything.

Email Spamming is at Large
Spamming refers to commercial or profane email messages sent to thousands of users blindly. Content aside, identifying possible spammers is the biggest glitch faced by individuals and service providers alike. AOL and Yahoo can track spammers bold enough to dispatch millions of emails and rely on user feedback! These emails when open or clicked upon trigger viruses or unethical content whereas legitimate companies are also involved in the process at times.

Intellectual Property & IT
Since merging of intellectual property rights and IT in 1990s, things are going rough. Evolution of Limewire, Napster and downloading platforms raised concerns regarding infringement on artistic property. Even NBC’s exclusive rights to 2008 Olympic Games were defied by web pirates and bloggers who uploaded footage over YouTube. Major issue when dealing with intellectual property in virtual world is limit up-to which content producers are allowed to plagiarize images and articles. Extracting entire articles is totally unacceptable; ethicists also seek out unknown writers and artists for even a minor blog post.

Online Content Filtering
Comcast came under fire for restricting Bit Torrent downloads. Internet Service Provider (ISP) cited the “throttling down” downloading a reasonable element to preserve high-speed browsing service. Religious groups, inappropriate websites and other joined forces to battle Comcast for content filtering. This raised a hot debate between ISP, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and users about whether web service must be content-neutral or not! This covers fundamentals of IT etiquettes. Let’s have a look at how productivity can be improved.

Virtual Working Options
Telecommunicating strategies increase productivity to a great extent. It involves meetings among employees via social media applications or in-house communication platform. Tracking workload is also possible using software even if you’re working from home. Meta analysis carried by Pennsylvania State University revealed telecommuting improved productivity, employment and life satisfaction while turnover and work-family conflicts are also reduced.

Track & Evaluate Progress
Modern IT allows employers to track progress of a project even before its due, decreasing evaluation and monitoring time. Program can be used to compute total sales call an employee makes, time consumed in writing a brief or automatically log calling index. Tracking best performance and who’s bringing optimistic results is possible while it’s quite helpful for prospective employees working off-site.

Eradicating Job Responsibilities – Is it Good or Bad?
It doesn’t mean somebody’s job is at stake but simply reducing work pressure without undermining productivity. IT helps eliminate tedious tasks and repeating projects allowing you to work and experience on different tasks. For instance scan and email documents regularly is quite boring so leave that to electronic machines while you can work on chats, auto-recording of web calls thus providing accurate information.

Collaborating Opportunities
Similar or even different business operations can be merged increasing efficiency and internal communication. Virtual meeting software, text and emailing all allow instant access to clients and co-workers. With video conferencing, it’s easier to attend presentations and board meetings regardless of entity’s physical location.

All of the above discussed steps help to build a better IT infrastructure, leading to ultimate success and strengthening business reputation.

Author Bio:
This post is written by Stacey White who works with the eHDF Remote IT Solutions department and loves to write tech related articles.


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