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UK Managers Lose 31 Working Days Per Year Fire-Fighting IT

Further analysis of a study launched by Partners in IT (conducted by market research firm Dynamic

Markets) has revealed that 80% of all companies surveyed admit to having a problem with downtime of their IT systems.

74% of non-IT business managers admit to spending, on average 12% of their time every week fire-fighting problems that are caused by their IT systems - equating to 31 full working days per year. Of these, 42% of managers specifically in the mid-market sector confessed that they spend 5% of their time each week addressing these problems - a figure that equates to approximately

1 day per month.

Launched on the 5th June 2007, the research ('IT Service Management - Is It Worth the Money?') highlighted that technology is not always functioning to a high enough level to be seen as a true business asset. Many companies agree that IT investment is often wasted due to poor maintenance.

Paul Cash, MD of Partners in IT, said: "In today's busy world where time is in short supply, it is outrageous that so much of managers' valuable time is wasted due to poor IT maintenance and management. Technology should be a key enabler to help managers run their businesses efficiently and effectively - it should save us time so we can focus on the core task of running our businesses. Something has gone badly wrong and has to change."

Worryingly 90% of IT respondents in large companies admitted that downtime was such an issue that half of them (51%) cited it as a serious problem for them and their colleagues.

"Globalisation of successful businesses coupled with more flexible and mobile workforces has driven innovation within even the largest of companies," Cash continued. "Technology has played its part in helping to drive this innovation but, just as any other resource in an organisation, technology needs to be maintained and managed - it needs time devoted to it to ensure that the most benefit is gained."

Yet it would appear that it is precisely this problem - the lack of maintenance and management of companies' IT systems - which is causing the underlying network issues that are handicapping UK businesses today.

Dynamic Markets interviewed over 250 decision makers and business managers in large and mid-sized companies throughout the country. When asked what percentage of the company's IT investment might be wasted due to poor maintenance, 28% of business managers collectively admitted that they did not know while 77% of managers in mid-sized companies said that they thought that some of their IT investment - on average 13% - is wasted due to this problem.

According to Cash of Partners in IT, this waste of time, resources and investment can be easily avoided if organisations consider the following recommendations when it comes to maintaining and managing their IT


1.Understand your current situation before you commit to new

technology or processes and identify any issues you have

2.Get management buy in and sponsorship for a programme of change

3.Adopt and implement a process model to deliver a consistent

approach to IT Service delivery and implement a programme of continuous assessment in order to adapt to business needs

4.Avoid a 'hero culture' or re inventing the wheel by having

robust and enforceable processes

5.Ensure you have the resource to monitor and manage key business

services - one of the key issues we regularly see is that once an implementation is complete the technology and value it delivers degrades over time as it is not properly managed or maintained. In addition if services are properly managed and maintained it allows greater visibility of where problems occur and as a result fixes can be delivers faster.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.