Businesses waste more than 3 months a year on routine IT management

Over a quarter (26%) of IT decision makers (ITDMs) spend the equivalent of two days a week on mundane IT management. This could be wasting British businesses up to £18.9 billion in lost hours, based on the average IT manager salary.

Recent research of over 200 senior ITDMs also uncovers that 54% believe automation saves money and frees-up time for more proactive activity, critically important with more than half admitting that they spend less than two days a week on innovation.

Having skilled IT staff spend, an excessive amount of time on basic maintenance tasks is potentially demoralising. It not only creates poor productivity and wastes money, but it can also impact retention.

A firm with its best people spending days each week on routine work will eventually either lose the momentum for proactive projects, lose the people, or perhaps lose both. By redeploying IT staff in a more creative direction, firms can re-focus their energy on the most important corporate goals.

IT Operations Drain Resources

More than half of respondents state that they would be able to embark on new strategic projects if their IT operations were automated, highlighting that innovation is a big priority for ITDMs. As well as time for strategic projects, 43% recognise that they would have greater time for planning and defining the organisation’s strategy, ensuring better alignment with the business as a whole.

Error Resolution Top Priority

Interestingly, whilst the debugging and fixing of systems is often cited as an area of enjoyment for IT personnel, the results seem to suggest otherwise. The detection, diagnosis and fixing of errors are ranked as the biggest priority for automation (32% ranked it as top, 49% ranked it in top three), however, just detection and diagnosis scored much lower (6% ranked it as top, 31% ranked it in top three), demonstrating that ITDMs are looking for technology to self-heal and fix problems, not just detect them.

Automation Confuses Corporates

Respondents clearly understand how automation can benefit the organisation; but there is a lack of knowledge of what is already possible. 1 in 10 believe that it isn’t possible for technology to repair itself without human intervention, however, 66% agree that technology can learn and adapt to user needs over time. In addition, over a third (35%) seem concerned about the idea of artificial intelligence and self-learning systems, with a quarter refusing to accept that it’s not pure science fiction!

Whilst there is still some confusion in the market as to what automation can already achieve for businesses, the IT departments that choose to adopt the technology will be able to deliver significant benefits back to the business. Automation has moved on from just being complicated scripts on a local network to a sophisticated self-learning and self-healing system delivered through expert computing systems.

Terry Walby joined IPsoft in 2010 after spending eight years as a director at Computacenter, where he built the consulting practice, created the Datacentre Services business, had responsibility for the Technology Solutions portfolio and was Country Manager for Luxembourg. Prior to Computacenter, Terry was Enterprise Solutions Director at GE Capital IT Solutions and also worked for IBM and Granada Computer Services. He earned a degree in electronics and electrical engineering from University College in Canterbury.