Research has revealed that more than half of IT professionals expect themselves to be either working, or “on call” during the days surrounding Christmas, despite planned holiday.

The study, commissioned by Ipswitch's Network Management Division, found that some 58 percent of IT professionals expect to have to work over Christmas with 41 per cent revealing they will use the time off to reflect and plan for work in next year.

Based on previous experiences, 41 percent of respondents said that the most likely reason for a call-out was a server crash. Other technical issues included a VPN failure (29 percent), a user locked out of their account (28 percent), webmail outage (24 percent), and Wi-Fi down in the office (18 percent). 

The less common reasons for call out included: a laptop needing urgent repair (15 percent), an electronic key fob not working and someone can’t access a building (8 percent), loss of company mobile phone and malware (7 percent), or related attack on the network (7 percent).

The survey respondents were also asked for their IT New Year’s resolutions.

The results revealed that the vast majority would like to spend more time planning, reviewing and developing various strategies, rather than dealing with emergencies.

The top five New Year’s resolutions were: to spend more time planning and less time fire-fighting (37 percent), to develop BYOD policies (36 percent) to tighten and review security policies (31 percent), to have greater visibility of what is happening on the network (29 percent), to know what is wrong with the network before users notice (24 percent).  

Alessandro Porro, VP of international sales at the Ipswitch Network Management Division, puts these findings down to a lack of network monitoring tools in place.

“It simply is not necessary for the hard working, under-appreciated people in IT to spend their time fire-fighting problems on their networks – regardless of the time of year – when they would rather be planning," he said. "It is evident that many these problems could be managed remotely by network monitoring technologies which could identify the exact sources of problems to prevent issues such as server crashes and poor application performance.”"

The research was carried out at this year's IP Expo in London and surveyed 131 IT professionals.