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News

Few companiestest Have Policy On Video Streaming Prior to World Cup

Blue Coat Systems : 26 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
With over half of IT Professionals believing that viewing the forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in the workplace should be controlled, most companies still have no policy or technology in place to prevent internet video streaming
Blue Coat Systems has released results from an in-person survey conducted at Infosecurity Europe 2010 with 100 IT and networking professionals, showing that over half (54%) of IT managers believe that employees should be banned from watching 2010 FIFA World Cup matches at work. Results also showed that the IT and networking professionals surveyed believe their corporate networks could be placed under severe strain from bandwidth-hungry Internet video, as employees opt to follow their favourite teams online during this summer's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa games.

With one of the initial group matches for England scheduled to take place during the work day, a majority of companies may find corporate bandwidth fully occupied by streaming video. As employees are eager to see England's football fate unfold, watching live matches could prevent their employer's network from performing important business functions, as a majority of companies admit to having no policies (65%) or technology (59%) in place to prioritise vital business applications and ensure the most efficient delivery of video streaming.

The survey showed that whilst most of the IT managers surveyed believe that watching matches at work should be banned, 69% were convinced that employees will be determined to watch them. These sentiments were also borne out in a similar survey conducted amongst 2,000 employees by Eclipse Internet which found that 54% of workers were planning to watch world cup matches whilst at work. That leaves just three weeks before the first kick-off, for companies to educate employees about the impact of multiple video streaming sessions on the corporate network or to put technology in place to manage or alleviate the problem.

Another potential distraction for staff may be the temptation to communicate with friends, family and colleagues with social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook, so the survey also questioned respondents on the use of corporate policies regarding the use of social networking tools at work. According to the survey, whilst 80% of companies have clear guidelines governing access to non-business websites, policies regarding the usage of social networking tools are still not in widespread use, with 64% of respondents admitting to having no formal policies in place for social networking.

According to Nigel Hawthorn, VP EMEA Marketing at Blue Coat, "Many employees are unaware of the effect of running video streaming on a network, and this is the first World Cup where so many online options exist to follow the games and also interact on social networking sites with friends and colleagues. As a streamed football match consumes around 750MB of bandwidth - the equivalent of sending more than twelve editions of Tolstoy's War & Peace - it's important that IT and HR managers clearly communicate their corporate rules to employees."
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