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Study: Network delays crimp user productivity

IT users lose an average of three days a year due to delay in network log-in, file transfers and e-mail processing, a new Dimension Data report shows.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor on

Delay in network log-ins, file transfers and e-mail operation due to network bottlenecks are costing IT users an average of about three days a year, a new study has found.

According to the Network Performance Frustration Research Report by Dimension Data, IT users lose a monthly average of 35 minutes on network log-in delay and 25 minutes on e-mail processing activities such as downloading of mail from a server. File transfers take up an average 23 minutes per month.

"In an organization of 1,000 employees, this level of lost time and productivity could be costing the enterprise tens of thousands of dollars--if not more--per year," Dexter Wee, general manager of network infrastructure at Datacraft Asia, said in a statement Monday.

Commissioned by Dimension Data and Datacraft Asia, the survey was conducted between April and June this year and involved nearly 1,000 IT users and over 260 decision makers responsible for managing IT networks. The respondents hailed from various parts of the world; within Asia, survey participants came from economies including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

According to the report, shorter delays were associated with applications such as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and video, but such applications have low tolerance for delays that any time lapse might render them unusable, said Datacraft Asia.

The survey also found that 30 percent of end users--including decision makers--reported frequent computer crashes and slow running applications. On the other hand, about 30 percent of IT departments have well-defined processes for handling network performance issues. In addition, fewer than 40 percent of IT departments have complete capability to monitor network performance, and an even smaller group have access to a "granular view" of network traffic.

A significant proportion of IT heads also fail to consider network implications prior to implementing new business initiatives, said Wee. "Even in scenarios which involve the total integration of IT networks, systems and procedures such as mergers and acquisitions, fewer than half the IT decision makers said they would consider network implications.

"A lack of visibility could result in either unnecessary over-investment, or conversely too little investment, and in turn [lead to] unwelcome costs and performance implications," he explained.

Despite the existence of network delays and productivity loss, about three in four IT users surveyed were satisfied with their corporate network performance, said Datacraft. Nearly half of the decision makers surveyed were also confident that their networks can support future increases in network traffic and changing traffic patterns.

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