Office Bandwidth: How it's Really Being Used?

Many businesses view Internet bandwidth as a commodity with little perceived differentiation from one provider to the next.  At the same time, they are increasingly feeling pressure to maintain network performance while adjusting to new devices on the network such as Smart Phones and Tablets, which drive usage.  Another issue are the bandwidth intensive applications in the workspace – cloud-based, video, collaboration, YouTube and streaming services like Pandora.  The conflict between recreational traffic and business traffic is unlikely to go away.  A recent study showed that 55% of online traffic in the office setting is recreational!

Companies are devoting more time and money to manage available bandwidth and ensure that critical applications have access to the bandwidth they need.   Companies are working to prioritize traffic on their networks and are monitoring how employees are really using the Internet.  This is important because any individual’s use of bandwidth can affect the entire office’s Internet connection speed.  After mapping usage across applications and users, the next task it to try and decide who should get more bandwidth. These efforts to achieve positive results mean that the commodity pipe provided by the telephone or cable company is only part of the total expense.  More bandwidth alleviates much of the pressure and can enable a company to minimize the costs of monitoring actual usage.

Reliability of a company’s Internet connection is also a growing concern.  Most providers are quite reliable, but none are perfect.  Combine this reality with the need for more bandwidth and companies are now beginning to realize the importance of having multiple internet providers.  Having a second provider will enable you to get increased bandwidth, which may help solve the slow Internet connection issue at the office.  Overall, a company can be more efficient if they are spending less time monitoring who is listening to their favorite 80’s music on Pandora while they work or who is attending a Webinar on the merits of cloud back-up.