With a number of large events and national occasions fast approaching, including this summer’s big sporting events and the Golden Jubilee, excitement and a level of anticipation is building amongst the public and businesses alike. One of the questions on everyone’s lips is whether organisations are prepared for the impact that this is going to have on their IT systems?

In this article I share my thoughts on the impact online video can have on IT systems and how organisations can ensure their networks and their businesses are equipped for the increased use this summer.

Over a billion people worldwide are expected to watch the opening ceremony this summer and, since it’s a Friday, many will try to view it from their work computer. Making this content available in the workplace can boost morale and overall productivity.

However, a sudden influx in online video streaming can put IT systems under considerable strain, threatening both an organisation’s core communications systems and ultimately the productivity of its employees. The Internet Service Providers’ Association has already warned there will be a ‘massive hit on the infrastructure’ with many businesses struggling with bandwidth if they allow employees to watch the games at work. This can leave managers in a tricky position – how can they ensure their network remains efficient without depriving employees from live viewing?

Whilst putting in a flexible working programme is a viable option for some, it raises concerns over the lack of employee control. Also, for many organisations enabling employees to work from home may simply not be feasible. Although large events and occasions only happen a few times a year, businesses need to ensure their IT systems are prepared and that they are protected from any critical network failure. With a high volume of online streaming putting pressure on the networks, organisations need to look towards alternatives for video and TV distribution.

One alternative is IPTV Technology, which uses a company’s existing IP network to distribute live TV direct from broadcast sources. The common worry for network managers is whether streaming TV and video will overwhelm their existing network. However, this need not be a concern.

Building IPTV uses multicast technology, efficiently using unused bandwidth on an office’s existing IP network and eliminating the need for individual users to stream online video. This ensures that valuable bandwidth, which should be preserved for core business applications such as email and IP telephony, is not affected to safeguard critical systems from failure.

By utilising the unused capacity on an existing network, IPTV is a cost effective way of enabling live events on TV or radio to be easily transferred to an unlimited number of personal computers, interactive whiteboards and TV screens – providing easy and flexible access to live content and a tangible return on investment. With an IP network typically using less than 15% of its capacity, delivering live TV to an end-point is simple, even in High Definition, providing users with a better quality viewing experience.

With a series of high-profile events just around the corner, now is the time for organisations to think ahead and plan for the summer. Installing an integrated IPTV solution will not only allow your employees quick and secure access to video over the summer, but will improve your business communications for years to come.

Organisations can get more from their network and bandwidth investments by seamlessly streaming live TV and video to an unlimited number of users. Not only does this create higher-impact customer and staff communications, but managers can control what content is available, where and to whom.

IPTV provides organisations with a strategic communication tool that can be used long after any sporting events or occasions. It will be those organisations that prepare now that will benefit both this summer and for years to come. As the saying suggests “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.