Enterprises officially have 100 days to prepare for problems that might arise when the Olympic Games descend on London, but Wellcome Trust CIO Mark Bramwell believes that it might be a “non-event” for IT departments.
The run-up to the global event has drawn much attention from the IT industry, which has expressed great concern about how London 2012 might place pressure on enterprise networks due to people inevitably streaming video at work and having to work remotely because of transport problems.
For example, O2 recently ran a huge trial, where 3,000 employees based at its head office in Slough worked from home for one day, as practice for problems that may occur over the summer.
However, speaking at a HP networks event today in London, Bramwell told Computerworld UK that he believes that central London-based Wellcome Trust is set up to deal with any issues that may arise by just adopting a “common sense” approach.
“My personal view is that the Olympics could turn out to be a non-event from a technology perspective. Logistics and transport are going to be a bigger problem than the technology. Rightly or wrongly, I’m not anticipating it being an issue,” said Bramwell.
"The way that Wellcome Trust is dealing with it is by adopting a common sense policy. We have a network that will have sufficient bandwidth to support streaming and internet access, but the policy will stipulate reasonable use."
He added: “People are expected to come in to do their jobs during the day and to not come and watch the Olympics. If you want to watch the Olympics, take holiday.”
Bramwell also believes that if Wellcome Trust’s employees need to work remotely during the Olympic Games this will not be a problem for the biomedical charity, as he has already deployed the technology to support this.
“We have already established some remote working policies. The technical solutions are already in place to allow people to work from home,” he said.
“They have been tested, and they have been proven. They get tested every year because of our disaster recovery and remote working policies,” he added.
“Personally, and it might be my famous last words, but I think we are set up. I don’t see it as a huge problem for us.”
David Chalmers, CTO of HP’s storage and server division, suggested that enterprises that learnt from last winter’s snowstorm will be the best prepared for enabling remote working during the Games.
He said: “[The snowstorm] effectively shut everything down and people had to work from home. The companies that come through that, and learnt from it, will do fine with the Olympics.
“The companies that didn’t manage, and then also haven’t done anything since, will not cope with the Games this summer.”
The Olympic Games begin on the 27 July and will run until 12 August, whilst the Paralympic Games will begin on 29 August and run until 9 September.