Survey Reveals 'A Nightmare before Christmas' for IT Workers

December 21, 2015, Written By Bill Hardekopf
It engineer or technician monitors and solving problems with blade servers in data rack. Calling technical support about hardware problems in datacenter.

IT teams can expect a few nightmares before and during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, according to Ipswitch’s recent “Happy Holidays?” survey. The top concern is careless employees working remotely.

While many of us get to enjoy a few days off to spend time with friends and families during the holidays, 56% of IT professionals reported they would be on-call or working during this time. In fact, up to 40% will be working on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and another 16% said they’d be working on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“The holiday season for IT teams is no vacation as they are working around the clock to keep their IT infrastructure running smoothly. Making sure employees are connected and ready to work no matter their location along with putting out the typical fires is no easy task,” said Jeff Loeb, Chief Marketing Officer at Ipswitch.

Ipswitch, a Massachusetts-based IT company, interviewed 378 IT professionals and found the increased number of employees working remotely is part of the reason IT teams need to be on call. 47% of the respondents said they expect 10-25% of their company’s employees to be working remotely during the holidays, while 29% said they expect 26-50% of their non-IT coworkers to be accessing the network remotely.

To add to the pressure, 38% of survey respondents said they have experienced a network outage during a past company holiday.

The largest IT issues during the holidays include laptop problems (39%) and the inability to access the company network (36%). Other tech calls consist of poor application performance (28%) and security-related issues (21%).

Sometimes, these security issues can arise from too much holiday cheer. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents said employees have lost devices carrying sensitive company data at pubs, restaurants or taxis during past holiday festivities.

15% of the IT professionals surveyed said data breaches also result from employees sending emails to the wrong person or attaching the wrong document.

Holiday gifts are also troublesome for IT teams. When asked what must-have gadget will bring them the most trouble in 2016, 33% of IT professionals reported smartphones, while 31% said wearable technology. Fewer believe tablets (19%) or laptops (16%) will cause issues.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 21, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.