Taming the Video Streaming Beast
Seven of every 10 Americans have streamed videos online this year, according to a report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. To many an IT manager's dismay, a lot of this streaming is done on the corporate network during the workday.
Put a process in place: Video streaming sites like YouTube are here to stay. This is true even in the workplace, as employees often need to conduct company business on YouTube or Skype. Make sure your IT team determines which sites are critical to your business, and limit usage of those that are not.
Set realistic expectations: Let employees know that streaming video can slow the network. This will let them know why they may be experiencing slow response time, and it will discourage overindulgence in non-work-related videos.
Preparation is key: To avoid network downtime or crashes, particularly during high-profile events such as this year's royal wedding or last year's World Cup, IT staff should regularly remind employees of social-media and usage policies. Even large organizations can run into major problems when they don't properly prepare.
Be secure: If employees are watching videos on their work computer outside the office, make sure they aren't "borrowing" Internet access from an insecure connection.
Adopt appropriate technologies: To keep corporate bandwidth in check, first establish how bandwidth is being used. Then adopt technologies necessary to allocate bandwidth appropriately to video streaming sites.