NCAA tournament brings unique challenges to IT departments

By VAR_Staffing
In Channel
March 22, 2013

VAR_Staffing / VAR Staffing

There are certain times of year that IT Departments face unique challenges. Whether it is increased network traffic during Cyber Monday or managing a new series of mobile devices after Apple has unveiled the latest iPhone, these events rarely are a surprise but if they are not prepared for, the effects could be devastating to a business.

One of these events is upon us now – the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. According to a recent CBS Philadelphia report, an estimated $134 million will be lost in productivity during this time. This happens when employees fill out and research their brackets or follow the games, either by streaming video or following live updates.

"Most IT departments just want to make sure that for those who want to get work done, they can work at the same pace and efficiency as they would on a normal day," Jack Cullen, president of the national IT staffing firm Modis, told the news source. "We do tell people to be cognizant of time they spend. We are going to let people know that productivity is expected."

While employers are worried about the productivity issues, IT Principals are facing a mountain of potential problems. With multiple cubicles streaming video and bracket update Websites, it is an increase on normal bandwidth use that could slow down the system. There is also the potential of extra devices – like a personal tablet – being brought in just to watch the games. It might not be cleared by IT first because a worker may believe since it is not being used for a work function, it's okay to connect to the network without authorization.

This also does not address the security concerns of video streaming sites. While a small handful of them are legitimate with proper security protocols in place, many are loaded with malware and viruses that can cripple a business once introduced to a company's infrastructure.

To meet these challenges, IT Principals need to have reliable resources on the ready to combat any tech issue that could arise.

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