Nearly every chief information officer on the planet is worried the Olympics will take down his or her network next week, says network management tool maker Blue Coat Systems. The Wall Street Journal profiles Cathy McClain, CIO for a division of Brunswick, the maker of bowling balls and boats. It only takes 15 employees watching videos at once to affect her network. I like her solution:
McClain can’t just block streaming videos. Some Brunswick employees, the marketing department for example, have to watch the Olympics for work reasons. And blocking sites doesn’t fit with the company culture. Instead, she’s letting workers do whatever they want. But if the network becomes strained, a message will pop up on employees’ computers asking whether they’re watching the video for work-related reasons, and if not, could they please wait until off-peak hours. The messages explain that Brunswick is trying to save money and McClain includes her phone number so that anyone who has a question can call for an explanation. And they don’t block the video — they just ask workers if they have to watch right now."