IT pros brace for lost devices, access problems, on-call holidays

More than half (56%) of IT pros will be on-call or working during the holidays to troubleshoot tech problems, according to network management vendor Ipswitch. Past experience shows it’s necessary: among 378 IT pros surveyed, 38% say they’ve experienced a major network outage during a holiday break.

Here are some additional findings from Ipswitch’s third annual "Happy Holidays?" survey: 

Days expected to be on-call or working

• Christmas Eve: cited by 29%
• Christmas Day: 11%
• New Year’s Eve: 11%
• New Year’s Day: 5%

Most common IT problems employees experience when the office is closed for the holidays

• Cannot access network remotely: 36%
• Poor application performance: 28%
• Forgot password: 14%
• Laptop not working: 39%
• Security issues (such as malware on laptop): 21%

IT user problems reported as a result of Christmas/holiday celebrations

• A lost device (phone, laptop, tablet) at a Christmas party, bar or restaurant: 31%
• A lost device in the back of a taxi or on public transportation: 16%
• An email sent to the wrong recipient resulting in a data breach: 7%
• An email with the wrong attachment sent, resulting in a data breach: 8%
• Not aware of any of the above: 16%

Degree of concern about suffering a data breach because of a careless Christmas/holiday celebration

• Yes, worry all the time: 9%
• Yes, worry sometimes: 15%
• Yes, worry fleetingly: 26%
• No, don’t worry: 50%

Looking ahead to 2016, respondents’ New Year’s resolutions include increasing network security (51%); improving internal communication and customer satisfaction (21%); and receiving more budget and resources (16%). (See also: Network jobs are hot; salaries expected to rise in 2016)

“The holiday season for IT teams is no vacation as they are working around the clock to keep 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, in a statement. “Ensuring that IT has the proper visibility into company networks and applications, and preparing IT for employee mishaps are key during the holidays.”

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