"It would be more effective and safer to the enterprise to embrace the changes and sponsor them in a controlled manner than allowing our resources to work outside the system with no controls or protections," he says. "Google has made great improvements that make the use of Google+ a solution that works well to start modernizing communications at Kaplan with the controls you would want to see between enterprise messaging and the public."
2. Acknowledge Risks and Trust Employees
When Hanapole introduced Google+ to Kaplan, there was some concern about employees inadvertently sharing company information with people they shouldn't, he says. Employees can create groups of people with which they can selectively share information. Google+ calls these Circles, which can consist of different departments and even customers outside the enterprise, for example.
To combat this, Hanapole says Kaplan enabled the Google+ administration features, which allow them to set the default visibility for new posts to be restricted to their domain. They also use an external service called CloudLock, which gives administrators visibility into statistics on sharing inside and outside the domain.
Hanapole says users are also reminded to make sure they're managing their Circles carefully to avoid cross-contaminating internal groups with external people, though Kaplan hasn't experienced many of those problems.
"When you deploy this type of technology, there is a level of trust you need to have in your employees," Hanapole says. "Sure, you take on additional risk, but you also get a higher employee satisfaction rate because you trust them."
To Hanapole, that risk is well worth the reward-and necessary to support Kaplan's clients: students and teachers.
"I feel strongly that as leaders of technology, we need to be providing our employees with the technologies and solutions they are becoming increasingly comfortable with: mobile, tablets, social networks, cloud-they're all being led by consumers and most importantly our students," he says. "As we obsess over student outcomes, it's essential that our employees are adept at the same technologies that our students use to work, learn and play."
3. Offer Training