Two-thirds of UK IT directors rely on end-users to notify them of problems on their IT network, according to market research company Vanson Bourne, which recently conducted a survey of 100 IT managers on behalf of security software specialist Network Associates (NAI).
As a result of this “blindness”, many organisations are subject to significant periods of network slowdown, or even downtime, rendering them unable to respond to security threats, such as hackers, viruses or worms. Ominously, two-thirds of those surveyed said they suffer from “significant” downtime more than once every three months.
Furthermore, only one-third of IT directors are equipped with the necessary network management tools to monitor bandwidth effectively. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that just under one-quarter of IT directors could not say how much bandwidth was being used for non-work related activities, such as downloading images from the Internet.
Nearly three-quarters of IT directors admit they have paid for unnecessary bandwidth, and more than half of those surveyed spent some of their 2002 IT budget on increasing server capacity, upgrading storage and retrieval systems and investment in training personnel specifically to improve the performance of their networks.
Stuart Beattie, business development manager of NAI’s Sniffer Technologies, says, “IT directors spend money on many different areas of the network to keep it up and running. Visibility, however, appears to take a back seat, which is interesting because with more visibility many of these vital budgeting decisions would be far easier to make.”