Woman with IT issues

Over half of UK IT staff frustrated by nasty network surprises

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Research from network-monitoring company Paessler has highlighted the biggest frustrations in IT departments across the UK.

According to Paessler’s research - surveying more than 2,000 IT administrators in 110 countries in December 2018 - the number one frustration for UK IT staff is being caught out by network issues.

IT staff in the UK admitted that their two primary frustrations in the workplace are networks unexpectedly failing with no warning (63 per cent of respondents) and end users reporting problems before IT staff even know about the issues (54 per cent).

“As the guardians of technology, IT staff don’t like being caught unaware, but often problems are difficult to predict in advance,” said Martin Hodgson, country manager for UK and Ireland, Paessler. “Many issues can originate from the users themselves, with them failing to read instructions or not reporting minor challenges that then grow into much bigger issues.”

Almost half of those surveyed in the UK also said that they are disappointed by a lack of appreciation or understanding for what they do (46 per cent) in ensuring that technology and networks continue to run smoothly.

This lack of appreciation was of less concern for IT staff in other countries - in the US, for example, IT staff were 10 per cent less likely to complain about this lack of appreciation, with 36 per cent of staff there reporting that they feel underappreciated.

“The best running networks are ones that are proactively managed – those where potential issues can be easily identified and addressed before they become major challenges or nasty network surprises," Hodgson said.

“End-users don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes, and the admins’ role is only really made apparent when something goes wrong. This could explain why around 4 in 10 admins feel underappreciated.

“Perhaps we should all make an effort to make them feel more appreciated.”

Pushing the limits of new network technology, a high-speed quantum communications test link over 100km long was opened earlier this year between the BT Labs in Suffolk and the Cambridge node of the UK’s new Quantum Network.

Billed as the world’s first commercial-grade quantum test network link, it will enable the testing and demonstration of new quantum technologies. This will include trials of how these technologies can be used to secure critical and sensitive data across vertical industry sectors such as healthcare, banking, defence and logistics.

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