March Madness Causes Headaches for IT Professionals

March Madness may be an exciting time for college basketball fans around the country, but it is a stressful season for IT professionals whose job it is to maintain network security and functionality. In fact, in a recent survey of 500 IT professionals conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Modis, 42 percent of IT professionals say March Madness historically has impacted their network. Of those affected, 37 percent report their networks have slowed down, while 34 percent report March Madness activity has essentially shut down their networks for a period of time.

March Madness is the NCAA’s Men’sDivision I Basketball Championship. It ranks as one of the most popular annual sporting events in the nation. Because many games occur during standard business hours, fans often attempt to monitor their favorite teams real-time by watching the games online at work. The increase in web usage can put added stress on the stability and operation of office networks.

In response to the increase in streaming content, some IT departments institute procedures that block or slow down web video. Other IT professionals, specifically those who do not block or slow down/throttle streaming content and video within their organizations (35 percent) say March Madness has impacted their network (55 percent) with 48 percent saying it has slowed it down and 43 percent saying it caused their network to shut down.

“With the increasing popularity and availability of streaming video, it has become easier than ever for workers to watch sports games at their desk—and March Madness is a time when streaming sports content consumption is at an all-time high,” said Jack Cullen, president of Modis. “It’s an event that boosts office morale and builds camaraderie for many American workers, but it can put a significant burden on office networks, and the IT professionals responsible for maintaining them.”

For more survey findings, click here to view a press release.