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28 Jun, 2014

World Cup Popularity Upsetting U.S. Workplace Productivity and Wireless Network Management

LEXINGTON, Mass. June 26, 2014 –(BUSINESS WIRE)–A survey commissioned by Ipswitch revealed that U.S. workers streaming media to watch the World Cup is a serious wireless network bandwidth drain and network management challenge that can have negative implications for critical business applications and overall productivity. Ipswitch polled more than 200 IT professionals in the U.S. to further understand how the most viewed sporting event on the planet – the FIFA World Cup – is affecting their company’s network performance and overall business operations.

According to the Ipswitch survey, approximately two out of three IT admins (67 percent) are currently experiencing IT problems and network management headaches that can be directly tied to employees streaming the World Cup across their organization’s wireless network. Of those, 70 percent say that the video streaming of matches is having an adverse effect on employee productivity, network and application performance and overall business operations.

“The World Cup has clearly become more popular than ever in the U.S., both at home and at the office,” says Ennio Carboni, executive vice president, customer solutions, Ipswitch. “Today’s midday match between the United States and Germany has the potential to create one of the biggest Wi-Fi traffic spikes in IT management history. And as a result, worker and application productivity may take a hit, while the hard-working IT professionals may unfairly get the equivalent of an orange card for network management.”

The research disclosed some startling information about the readiness of organizations to deal with large scale events such as the World Cup. Despite evidence from earlier this year proving that high-profile events such as the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament caused disruptions to critical business operations, only slightly more than half of respondents (53 percent) indicated that they had a proactive network management plan in place to deal with the high bandwidth spikes.

Those who had a plan in place were mostly concerned with monitoring or limiting streaming activity. Setting threshold alarms was the most common tactic, with 71 percent of respondents using this technique, while monitoring top applications and blocking certain websites received nearly 60 percent each. Somewhat surprisingly, encouraging employees to view the World Cup from a centralized location was a part of the plan for only 32 percent of respondents.

Desktop and laptop computers were the most common devices used by employees to stream World Cup matches at nearly 90 percent. Smartphones were not far behind at 83 percent, with tablets showing less popularity at 65 percent.

As to whether or not they have a personal interest in the World Cup, less than half of those polled (45 percent) were following the action.

Know what is happening on your wireless network

During the World Cup tournament and beyond, IT professionals can take proactive steps to avoid fielding a barrage of support calls from upset users experiencing slow application performance. With a wireless and wired network monitoring solution run from a single dashboard, IT professionals can get the means to gain back control, including:

  • Rapid response through real-time alerting
  • Knowing connected users and devices for each access point
  • Seeing individual user and device bandwidth usage
  • Viewing signal strength and hardware health

Survey methodology and full report

The Ipswitch World Cup survey was taken by 207 IT network professionals across the U.S. between June 16 and June 20, 2014. For the full survey findings visit: http://www.whatsupgold.com/resources/press-releases/Ipswitch-World-Cup-Survey-Report-Summary.pdf.