Keeping Employees Connected in Remote-Work Environments
February 17, 2021
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The use of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions has increased since the start of the pandemic, and this increased use has created challenges for IT teams, according to a survey commissioned by NETSCOUT SYSTEMS.

According to Gallup's annual Work and Education Poll, one in four US workers now work entirely from home with the number of remote-work telecommuting days doubling since last year. This dramatic increase places an added burden on IT departments to address complex UC&C solutions and manage the rise in IT helpdesk calls and tickets, especially given the added complexity of having multiple solutions without the visibility to identify issues.

Survey findings include:

■ 97% of respondents stated that collaboration platforms, applications, and tools have become much more critical in the current work environment.

■ In response to the increased use of UC&C platforms, 85% stated they were upgrading their solutions to provide a better workforce experience.

■ Respondents stated that UC&C platforms have become much more critical to their business with 85% of those surveyed indicating usage has either increased or significantly increased.

■ More than 73% stated that increased usage has been problematic, citing cybersecurity, privacy concerns, response time, network visibility, bandwidth issues, and ensuring users have the proper equipment as leading factors.

■ Problematic UC&C platforms place an incremental burden on IT departments, with respondents citing an increase in calls to IT (63%), open tickets (59%), user frustration (55%) resulting from issues associated with UC&C platforms.

■ When asked how many collaboration platforms and tools they supported, 29% stated 3-4, 34% said 5-9, 12% stated 10-15, while 10% stated 16 or more.

"With so many people working from home, there has been an inevitable increase in the reliance on real-time services like UC&C," stated Paul Barrett, CTO, Enterprise, NETSCOUT. "However, such services are highly sensitive to network problems such as packet loss and latency, and as a result, IT departments need to quickly understand the root cause of issues such as a saturated VPN concentrator or a problem that resides with a software-as-a-service provider. Hence the need for comprehensive monitoring solutions that give them the visibility they need to ensure a better remote-work experience."

"UC&C solutions and network infrastructure combine to serve up the best possible end-user experience," stated Richard Costello, Senior Research Analyst, IDC. "But, that's no easy feat. Complete network visibility and control enabled by network analytics solutions facilitate the reliable real-time delivery of enhanced communications and collaboration in the onrushing digital era."

Methodology: Respondents to the survey fielded between Sept. 17 and Oct. 15, 2020, included 300 IT decision-makers from large enterprises with $1 billion or more in annual revenue.

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