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Why Your IT Department Hates March Madness

IT departments stress out about company servers being overloaded by employees streaming the NCAA tournament.

For college basketball fans, March Madness is the highlight of the year. But for office IT departments that are responsible for keeping company servers afloat, it’s a whole different kind of March Madness.

Roughly 34 percent of IT departments will take action to prepare for the bandwidth demands of the tournament—which close to two million people stream each year— according to a survey conducted by Modis, an IT staffing service company.

According to the 500 IT professionals surveyed, common practices for guarding against server overload are sending out emails reminding employees of company streaming policies, politely asking employees not to visit sports streaming sites on the honor system, throttling bandwidth, and even blocking streams altogether.

But for the people who sign the checks, IT departments indicated that the rules are different. 66 percent said they’d make an exception for a CEO, 52 percent said they’d make an exception for a senior employee, and 12 percent said they’d make exceptions for themselves.

To put some of these measures into place, the survey found that 46 percent of IT professionals are working overtime or on weekends and 45 percent have had to skip lunch breaks in order to prepare for these types of impending network burdens. 

And even more extreme, 34 percent of those survey said they had to work during vacation and 30 percent said they even had to pull an all-nigther to avert a potential network overload.


Last updated: Mar 14, 2013


Samuel Wagreich is a reporter for He covers tech industry culture and trends, entrepreneurship, and issues facing small businesses.

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