March Madness: Employers Face the Great Streaming Debate

by on March 19, 2014

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March Madness Streaming at WorkIt’s that time of year: Brackets are flying and March Madness is tipping off. With any major online event, employers are faced with the decision on how to handle streaming of content. While many are opting to throttle, block or ban content, others are simply not taking any action. Inc. recently referenced our survey of IT professionals across the continental United States regarding how their companies handled March Madness in 2012 and 2013 in their article discussing whether or not employers should allow employees to stream non-work content

According to our study, between 2012 and 2013, the number of IT professionals who reported throttling, banning or blocking content significantly decreased. In 2012, 65 percent reported some sort of action – ranging from banning March Madness video, throttling video feeds, or outright blocking content – while only 48 percent did in 2013. Some infer that the increase in streaming content on mobile devices may have lessened the burden on IT professionals to make preparations for March Madness as the percentage of those not making any changes nearly doubled from 2012 to 2013.

Location may also play a part in an employer’s decision on streaming content – those in the West tended to be much more relaxed with their regulations than the rest of the country. The Midwest were the most likely to make changes in preparation for an event like March Madness that might cause network burden.

March Madness is just one of many examples of non-work content that employers are forced to face: Black Friday, social media sites, and other sporting events were often noted as network interruptions in the survey. Thirty percent of those we surveyed in 2013 reported that their departments monitor employees who are violating content policies, and twenty-four percent reminded employees of the content streaming policy in advance of March Madness.

At Modis, we’re always tracking trends and hot topics in IT and staffing. Click through the presentation below for all the details of our March Madness survey:

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