What’s burning up resources for IT pros during the summer?

IT pros felt the heat this summer as they kept networks humming along for remote workers on vacation. Over the summer months, most organizations see a significant expansion in the number of remote workers, which can make the job of a network manager or sysadmin increasingly more difficult.

A new Ipswitch survey, which polled 239 IT professionals in the United States, identified which issues were simply fun in the sun versus which were burning up resources with non-stop network problems.

Key survey findings indicate:

Remote workers with malfunctioning laptops create extra strain on IT professionals. One third (33 percent) of all survey respondents see nearly half of their colleagues working remotely during the summer. Forty-two percent of all respondents cited malfunctioning laptops as the top culprit, followed by network connectivity issues (32 percent) and poor application performance (16 percent).

An uptick in wireless devices accessing the network creates seasonal BYOD headaches for IT. An expansion of a remote workforce can lead to an influx of personal wireless devices attaching to the network to perform tasks, such as checking email. When asked what type of device they’d like to see eliminated from use on the corporate network, 49 percent of all IT pros surveyed chose tablets, followed by smartphones at 31 percent. Only 10 percent noted wearable technology which may speak to the limited scope of this market to date.

Appreciation and empowerment go a long way. On the heels of SysAdmin Day in late July, when asked what employees could do to show their appreciation, the top answer from IT pros (42 percent) was eliminating the shadow IT effect when employees download apps without telling or seeking permission.

Nearly one third (29 percent) said they’d most appreciate if an employee reboots their computer before seeking assistance. In order to feel more empowered at work, 32 percent of IT professionals would like the ability to choose and buy technology, while 25 percent wanted to have X-ray vision to figure out the source of problems. It’s clear that the little things make the biggest difference for IT professionals.

Vacation time for IT professionals comes with baggage. One quarter of all survey respondents (25 percent) indicated that vacation time was more restricted for themselves and their teammates than other departments within their organization. Even when taking vacation, more than one quarter of all respondents (28 percent) admitted that they will be stressed over the state of their network while they are away.

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