The present state of Network Management



Staff monitoring is common


As early as 2003, the American Management Association made a survey and found that 75% of the surveyed companies have monitored online behavior of their staff. According to survey of the United States Association of electronic policy this year, 26% of the enterprise use network monitoring system to monitor their staff and 2% of employees who used the instant signal communication system improperly were dismissed. 50% of the employees’ online activities have nothing to do with work. Alone, U.S. companies need to pay billions of dollars annually. "Korea Daily" reported that in South Korea, 60% of large enterprises and 30% of the public enterprise will check the e-mails of staff. A well-known site in Thailand made a survey last year, showing 40% of employees in the company are under Internet surveillance.


A manager of Motorola disclosed to the reporter: "For large enterprises or companies, they use information filtering technology to shield work-not-related websites. Of course, if you want to view the content of employee e-mail and chatting records, technical department can do it, but generally they would not investigate because it is a waste of human resources. "


Some business executives said that they are reluctant to monitor their staff but they have to. However, in face of staff resistance and public pressure, business managers also feel embarrassed. Director of personnel department in a company admitted that if employees know that they are monitored, they will feel upset or even make complaints against the company, however the company really needs to control on the company business. If laws and regulations in this respect are sound, organizations can take necessary measures according to laws. “Now, we just signed the conservative trade secrets documents with each employee but whether it works, we could not identify.”

Many managers know that chatting online during working hours or sending a private e-mail will lead to low efficiency, network bandwidth waste, and information leakage, so though reluctant, they have to monitor their staff. But most managers cannot balance the conflicts between enterprise and their staff brought about by monitoring employees. Moreover, due to the lack of laws in this aspect, it is difficult to handle this problem and it is also difficult to control the extent. "Monitoring" brings great pressure on corporate managers and also brings challenges to the entire enterprise monitoring and management system.


Digital economy has stand out conspicuously today. The most obvious change is that most significant gains in recent years can be directly attributed to Internet connection. For most companies, the Internet has become indispensable together with telephone and copy machine. However, along with the benefits also comes the pain. In addition to high cost of access to e-commerce and online information, the Internet has quietly turned into a casino for employees. More and more employees are trading stocks online, downloading music, gambling, playing games, buying books, watching sports news, sending e-cards and visiting pornographic websites ---all during working time. Some people send chain letters and jokes in the company, wasting the already nervous bandwidth and mental resources. If employers and human resource practitioners can recognize that there will be more and more problems with the applications of Internet. ... They will be able find ways to improve productivity and make the company succeed like a duck in the water. "With applications of the Internet and other new technologies such as wireless web browser on the telephone and personal digital assistants, new and more elusive" Wisdom Struggle "will appear. The key is to maintain a reasonable balance between staff and productivity.


Survey: Monitoring IM (instant messaging software) has become an important IT function for most banks on Wall Street


The official comments from Microsoft


Employee monitoring software is becoming more attractive, their prices are more moderate and are simpler to use. The companies realize the value of monitoring software, which help them improve security, efficiency and reduce improper activities, prevent leakage of company secrets and the risk of law liability. Many analysts point out that the best way to maintain interest for the company is to use monitoring software. Michael Gartenberg, research director of Jupiter Media Metrix said that if companies choose to use monitoring software, they must tell employees what they are monitoring and why they should monitor. Gartenberg said, "Employees must understand that the employer has the right to protect the company business communication tool from being abused, including the situation that would bring the company risk of liability or trouble." "Employers also need to understand that they need to set and achieve expectations and strike the right balance between trust and distrust of employees."


To all staff:

Gartenberg warned the employees not to send e-mail and instant messages which may appear on the front page of the newspaper the next day at work. Similarly, do not visit those websites that you do not want your name posted together with in a public forum.

1. Respect the needs of staff and their time. If your employees spent most all the time on work in the office and even work overtime, they should be allowed to deal with their personal affairs during working hours. If the employee is working with high efficiency and careful consideration, he should be allowed "not to reach the required working time" so as to compensate for their heavy workload and the tremendous pressure.

2. Find a reasonable balance in security and privacy. If employees wasted too much working time, you have not hired good employees. In addition, aren’t the matters like preventing the internal information being leaked to media or other competitors, internal hackers or virus writers, sexual harassment or other possible embarrassing situation and threat to national security more important than knowing that employees are rewriting resume or finding a lover?

3. Hire one that you can trust. It is easier said than done, especially for rapidly developing companies and companies that would employ thousands of people each year. Of course, compared with monitoring on those you trust is simpler and requires much less work.

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