Saturday, 24 June 2017

IT managers claim application issues hampered remote working during Olympics

Blue Coat Systems
Friday 05 October 12

Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a leading provider of Web security and WAN optimisation solutions, has revealed that lost productivity and an increased strain on the IT support organisation made IT managers less enthusiastic about the benefits of remote working following their experience during the Olympics. According to a survey that explores the attitudes of workers and IT Managers in the London area towards remote working during the Games…

Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a leading provider of Web security and WAN optimisation solutions, has revealed that lost productivity and an increased strain on the IT support organisation made IT managers less enthusiastic about the benefits of remote working following their experience during the Olympics. According to a survey that explores the attitudes of workers and IT Managers in the London area towards remote working during the Games, one-third of London-based IT managers are “less willing” to let their staff work remotely in future as a result.

IT managers found that the most common issue with remote working during the Games was lost productivity as a result of employees not being able to access applications. Half of all IT managers encountered this problem whilst 30 percent felt the strain of providing additional support and noted a sharp rise in the number of helpdesk requests received. For employees that were working remotely, 33 percent were frustrated by not being able to access applications as quickly as they could from the office.

The application delays that remote staff experienced during the Olympics are one result of the online video viewing habits of employees in the office. In one of the key findings from the report a massive 75 percent of IT managers noted a higher bandwidth utilisation than normal. This is linked, in part, to a relaxed attitude to online video usage that allowed employees to watch online footage of the Games at any time. Only 12 percent of IT managers surveyed implemented a complete ban whilst a quarter implemented more flexible policies that allowed workers to watch online video at certain times of the day. Sixty-two percent reported that their organisation had no restrictions on viewing online videos of the Games.

Remote workers access the corporate network via the same Internet connection that employees in the office are using to stream video. As the video traffic drives network utilisation closer to 100 percent, it pushes out other applications, causing performance problems. Slow application performance can also be related to slow servers or congestion – either over the Internet or the remote workers’ local link.

To enable employees to work remotely, businesses need to be able to segment and prioritize VPN traffic over general recreation or Internet traffic. Businesses should also be able to pinpoint whether the delay is occurring at the network or server level.

Commenting on the findings Shirley O’Sullivan, vice president of EMEA marketing for Blue Coat said: “For IT managers tasked with implementing the technology to support remote working initiatives, there are distinct challenges. For remote working to be truly successful, IT managers will need to ensure that staff can work with the same ease and speed as from the office. Now that the post-Olympics dust has settled, it’s a great time to address these bandwidth utilisation and application performance issues to ensure they do not impede productivity in the future.”


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