General 8min de Leitura - 07 de June de 2017

Research on the profile of Internet use in companies, see the results

Homem trabalhando em notebook sobre a mesa, com uma xícara de chá ao seu lado

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[rev_slider alias=”ebook-pesquisa-perfil-de-uso-da-internet”][/rev_slider]The emergence of commercial internet in Brazil has boosted businesses and collaborated to create new markets, nonexistent in the national scenario. The evolutions were constant, and the last 22 years were marked by the increase of the internet supply in the national territory, making the resource increasingly accessible for corporations and users.

The facilitated access to the internet helped making its use quickly popularized, in professional and personal activities, enabling the launch of products/services, which received new functions with the rise of the internet.

In addition to the launch of new products and technologies, the increase in the volume of websites and content, also collaborated with the popularization of the internet and creation of dependence on it.

Without a doubt, the internet has brought countless benefits to home and corporate users. However, in the same proportion, the use of the Internet inspires more and more care.

The internet is made up of a massive amount of content, in different formats and users of the most varied types. Thus, it is evident that not all content published on the Internet is legitimate, or developed by a suitable person, and may have implications for the mass of users.

For this reason, it is increasingly important, especially in a corporate environment, to create visibility on the use of the Internet, facilitating its management and avoiding negative impacts on the business.

Employees’ accesses may be responsible for creating vulnerabilities, reflecting lack of productivity or interfering with the availability of companies’ Internet resources, as well as other factors that may jeopardize the organization’s corporate image.

In this blog post, we bring the results of the survey conducted by OSTEC and NEOTRIAD, which collected data about the profile of Internet use in Brazilian companies. The research was conducted with Directors/Managers, and other collaborators, making it possible to identify behaviors and segment them according to the position in the company. Continue reading and access a summary of the main aspects of the research.

About the audience that was part of the survey

Approximately 360 people, being 70.91% male and 29.09% female, responded the survey on the Internet use profile. Respondents were also segmented by age group, with the highest incidence of responses being in the age groups from 26 to 35 years old, 35% of respondents, 36 to 45, 31.67% and 46 to 55 years old accounting for 15.28% of respondents.

The survey was completed by collaborators in companies from virtually all Brazilian states, with a total of 19 states, and states with the highest representation being São Paulo, with approximately 34% of the respondents, followed by Santa Catarina with 19% and Minas Gerais with 7,82%.

About the respondents’ sector and their position in the company, the survey shows that approximately 30% of the respondents were connected to the technology sector, 17% worked in the administrative sector and 9.9% in the organization’s sales sector. Among the interviewees, approximately 45% occupied management and management positions, the rest distributed among supervisors, analysts, technicians and auxiliaries.

Importance of internet for company’s daily operations

One of the questions, responded by the participants of the research, was associated with the importance of the internet for the development of labor activities in the company, with the following question: “What would a day without internet in your company be like?”. Faced with this question, 57.67% of the employees responded that a workday without internet would be very bad, due to the high degree of dependence on the use of the resource. The managers and directors who have the same perception account for 48%, presenting a small variation between the evaluated profiles.

The availability of the internet resource is gaining more and more space on the agenda of technology managers and other business areas. Having redundant internet links, with rules that aim at automatic reestablishment of access, is not exclusive to large companies, but rather to companies that have a good part of their operation dependent on the internet. Any business that falls under this perspective should make efforts to ensure the availability of the resource. This attitude aims to reduce the occurrence of interruptions in the services provided, avoiding direct losses to the business.

BYOD, use of personal electronic devices to carry out professional activities

During the survey, respondents were also questioned about the use of personal devices to carry out corporate activities, and in this sense, it was diagnosed that approximately 46% of collaborators use personal devices and 53.8% of managers encourage such practice. The concept of BYOD is increasingly present in institutions and the result of the research represents this movement.

Making use of personal devices in a corporate environment is a practice that brings benefits to employees and employers, but that inspires care, especially with regard to corporate data security when outside the perimeter of the company network. In these cases, the application of mechanisms to prevent loss or leakage of data is much more complex, including the fact that the device is not owned by the company but by the employee.

Another detail associated with the use of personal devices is the ease employees have to disperse from their labor activities, since they have a vast arsenal of content and personal data at their disposal during the work period. In this sense, it is worth the guidance, if the concept of BYOD is put into practice in the company, formalize this activity and create rules to avoid future problems.

Use of the internet in a corporate environment

One of the points of great relevance, associated with the profile of Internet use in companies, is directly related to the way the resource is made available during working hours. According to the survey, 43% of collaboratorssaid that access in a corporate environment is limited and controlled, that is, there are restrictions for the use of the internet, and accesses are only allowed for devices used in work activities. Faced with the same questioning, 24% of the managers reported that access is limited and controlled, which diverges in a representative way from the responses of other employees in the company.

This point of the research opens to two possibilities of interpretation, the first being associated to a possible misalignment between technology team and CEOs/Managers, reflecting in an inadequate perception about the management of Internet use in the company. The second option, which also reflects fragility, is associated to the fact that there are no controls applied to the collaborators’ accesses with higher hierarchical levels in the company.

It is important to note that in both cases, the development of internet usage policy/guidelines, as well as the effective use of it, in accordance with specialized content management solutions, could minimize misunderstandings as presented in the research.

Still regarding this item, it is worth mentioning that the answers of the managers may have been motivated by the fact that they have privileges for the access to the Internet. In this sense, it is important to point out that such an attitude is not in accordance with good safety practices, collaborating for the occurrence of claims, with highly relevant impacts on the corporate structure.

Use of the Internet for non-work activities

This is probably one of the most relevant items of the survey on the profile of Internet use in companies, considering the possible implications associated with the responses. The question to the participants was “Do you often use the company’s Internet for non-work purposes?” Faced with this questioning, 21% of the employees reported they use the resource for non-work purposes with great frequency, 61.4% stated that they use, somewhat infrequently, and only 17.5% do not use the internet for non-corporate purposes.

For further details on collaborators’ behavior, we asked the following to those who said they did not use the internet: “Do you use any alternative means to access the Internet during work hours, avoiding the use of corporate network?62.6% stated that they made use of the mobile Internet of their personal devices for such access.

Again, we have the possibility to reflect on two perspectives. The first perspective is associated with the allocation of the internet resource, which is often scarce, in accesses not associated to the collaborators’ labor activity. In some business realities, access to applications/websites that stream audio and video, compete with management systems, banks and other applications essential for the company’s daily activities. This type of scenario can pose serious problems for the company, justifying the investment of time and resources to improve the visibility of Internet use in corporations.

The second reflection is associated with the fact that a representative portion of the collaborators uses their cell phone to somehow circumvent the controls implemented by the companies in their networks. Technologies for mobile connectivity are often improved and the cost of service has drastically been reduced in recent years. In this perspective, the problem associated with consumption of corporate internet resource ceases to exist, however, problems associated with productivity and security are still there and even generate a greater challenge for management.

The most common question to ask at this point is “How to control devices not connected to the corporate network?” The answer is simple: these accesses cannot be controlled; however, the company can protect itself by creating guidelines for the use of mobile devices during working hours, seeking to minimize such impacts. At this point, it is evident the importance of conciliating policies and tools for maintaining a safe, available and productive environment in organizations.

Most visited websites and time invested by collaborators

During the survey, it was also possible to evaluate the websites most accessed by collaborators that, at first, have no direct relation with work activities. In this sense, the most representative options are news channels with 63%, instant communicators with 50%, social networks with 46% and YouTube with 31%.

Still with regard to the accesses, we questioned the participants about the time invested in non-work-related activities, using the internet; facing the question, 54% of the respondents said that they stayed less than two hours in this type of activity, 31% from 1 to 2 hours and 5% from 3 to 4 hours.

This number is somewhat worrisome, taking into account the impacts generated on the financial structure of the business. It is worth mentioning that this number grows exponentially according to the number of employees of the company. To estimate the financial expenditure with this type of activity, use the productivity calculator.

Another point to be evaluated is associated with concurrent access between traffic not related to work activities and legitimate traffic within the organization. This relationship must be evaluated and, if necessary, control measures should be applied. In the market, there are specialized solutions, which make it possible to guarantee access to business-critical applications (QoS).

For this scenario, tools focused on content filtering along with well-defined access policies can assist in the development of flexible access structure. Flexible structures are those that aim to fully contemplate the needs of organization and collaborators. As a suggestion for the establishment of flexible policies, we can highlight the possibility of allowing navigation at specific times during the workday, when the employee will have free access to the internet, obviously restricting the websites banned by the internet usage policy, such as adult content, religious intolerance, racial or gender discrimination, among others.

Productive leisure when using the internet?! What is the perception of collaborators and managers?

The objective of this question is to understand a little more about the impacts of using the internet and its connection with the concept of “creative/productive leisure”. The question put to the participants was the following: “In your perception, what is the impact of daily breaks to access non-work-related content, in your productivity?”Faced with questioning, 25% of the participants in the “collaborators” group reported that the impact is negative, since they end up not producing everything they would have the ability to produce. A representative part of the employees responded in a neutral way, 48.3%, reporting that the attitude does not bring benefits or losses. However, if we take into account that the attitude does not help to improve the productivity of the collaborator, justifying the time invested; consequently the act ends up resulting in damages to the organization.

On the other hand, 26.7% of respondents reported that access to non-work-related content made them more motivatedto develop their work activities.

There are few studies with scientific validity about the productivity gain through these scenarios, for this reason, caution is advised to the managers. In this sense, the basic premise is the search for knowledge of Internet usage profiles in a corporate environment, for structuring policy in accordance with the needs of business and collaborators.

Still regarding this question, it is possible to point great variation in the perception of managers. For about 54% of these, the use of the Internet in non-work-related activities damages the performance of collaborators. Another highly relevant fact is that only 23% of managers have an idea of the financial impact generated by this type of behavior.

Understanding the Internet usage profile in Brazilian companies is not only associated with implementing navigation controls or website blocks. The creation of visibility on the resource is directly associated with strategic business concepts, including evaluation of the need to hire new collaborators, expansion of investments in internet resource, among other points. It is also worth mentioning that visibilitymakes it possible to identify inappropriate behaviors that could jeopardize the corporate data, causing harm to the organization’s image.

The concept of visibility on the use of the Internet is highly applicable in business of varied sizes and segments and should be used strategically by managers whenever necessary.

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