IT managers in the UK say there is still work to do to optimise their networks for expected growth of devices and applications in the market, a new study from TalkTalk Business has uncovered. While over a third (36%) of UK IT managers surveyed say they have enough bandwidth to cover current and future needs, over half (53%) say their networks either don’t permit or support BYOD.
The Network Benchmark Report surveyed 250 IT managers across the UK to examine their attitudes and priorities towards the networks that underpin their businesses, as well as how they’re addressing key issues such as mobilisation, BYOD, cloud services and supplier engagement. Overall, the numbers reveal an ICT environment that is taking its network investments seriously. Over half of IT managers (52%) indicate their datacentres are as resilient as they should be; 70% have the tools to view real-time network statistics and use them often. 64% say they can easily make changes to their network where needed and 77% are confident they have the right firewalls in place to prevent threats from the public internet.
However, several survey participants said they still needed to build up capabilities for their organisations to fully exploit the potential of trends such as mobility and BYOD. In an internet-enabled and device-led age, 64% of IT managers have experienced some form of business disruption or compromise due to bandwidth restrictions. Furthermore, over a third (34%) are not confident their current network is suitable for their voice traffic needs; 72% have had users complain about poor application performance or poor VoIP quality. In addition, a third (31%) do not feel device security on their network is where it should be.
The research also highlighted the varying challenges faced by different sectors when it comes to designing and implementing network-based ICT strategies. In the finance industry, where economic and regulatory pressures have been severe in recent times, networks are considerably more capable; 80% of finance respondents say that they run voice on their networks with no significant problems. In contrast, only 28% of professional services respondents say the same. Although only 6% of retail respondents claim excellent network uptime, over a third (34%) of manufacturing respondents would agree.
“It’s clear that British IT managers appreciate the importance of connectivity and are equipping their organisations to reflect this need. However, the on-going increase in bandwidth-hungry technologies, devices and content means that network managers have to be thinking as much about future needs as well as current ones,” said Charles Bligh, Managing Director, TalkTalk Business, “Done properly, investments in next generation networks will quickly prove their value; as long as the upgrade plan is backed and driven by a clear strategy which articulates both the long and short term objectives of the business.”