WAN management tying Brits down

A recent survey shows the UK is top of the league in terms of time spent managing networks. Bryan Betts reports

British network managers spend more time on WAN management than their colleagues anywhere else, according to a survey by market researcher ICM. In the UK, 35% of network managers spend a day or more a week on issues such as identifying network faults and dealing with billing problems, compared with a global average of 25%.

The survey of 300 CIOs around the world, commissioned by managed service provider Vanco, also shows that the amount of time spent on WAN management has come down in recent years. Vanco, which calls itself a virtual network operator, says this is thanks to the increasing use of network outsourcing.

Scott Farquhar, CIO of property company Lend Lease in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says he hasn’t noticed UK managers spending longer on their WANs than their counterparts in his native Australia, even though 52% of the latter claimed in the survey to spend no time at all on WAN management.

“It could be that the Australians are talking themselves up,” and the Brits talking themselves down, perhaps in the hope of winning more resources, he says.

However, Vanco marketing manager Michael Piddock says the company’s survey results have held up well over the years. He says there are several possible reasons for UK administrators having a tougher workload.

“Who are the UK guys dealing with today? Mainly BT!” he says. He adds that the results could also reflect a higher than average level of mergers and acquisitions in the UK, as these can lead to duplicated and confused WAN structures.

The survey also revealed network security is more important than bandwidth to the CIOs, all of whom have a networking budget of at least €250,000 (NZ$449,000) a year.

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