IT failure could cost UK PLC £35bn per year


The average worker loses one day a month due to technology issues, new research has revealed.

A new report outlines the impact of poor IT to the UK’s workforce productivity. It is widely accepted that the UK is facing a productivity crisis and this report outlines, for the first time, how much of this loss is caused by poor IT systems and infrastructure. The report suggests that IT failure could cost UK PLC £35 billion per year if the average amount of time lost was applied to all full-time workers, the equivalent of the entire population of Birmingham and Milton Keynes not working all year.

The average GB employee in the private sector who uses IT and has wasted any time, wastes on average 5.59 per cent of their total working time due to IT issues. This equates to 27 minutes per day, 2.5 hours per week or more than one working day per four-week month.

In addition to the underlying costs in term of productivity and the bottom line, the report also found that among employees who use IT at work: 32 per cent believe that their workplace IT systems are damaging their ability to do a good job, which rises to 37 per cent for firms with more than 500 employees. Furthermore, 44 per cent believe that IT problems directly costs their business time and money and 40 per cent felt that they had better IT systems at home than at work. 24 per cent who have experienced IT issues said they have caused customers to complain, rising to 30 per cent in firms with 500 or more employees.

John Pepper, CEO and Founder of Managed 24/7, said: “The UK is facing a productivity crisis. The UK currently ranks seventh in the G7 and 17th in the G20 for productivity per person, and fixing our outdated and poorly managed IT systems and infrastructure will play a significant role in closing this gap.

“It takes a German worker four days to produce what his or her UK counterpart does in five and this crisis is resulting in the UK lagging well behind other developed nations. In light of recent outages such as at British Airways and the NHS, it is time for the UK to address the issue to ensure we aren’t left behind by our more agile neighbours.”

The top four issues experienced by IT users in the last year: Slow-running systems / equipment, failures in connection, outdated kit or software and equipment not being ready for a new starter.

When issues do occur, more than a third of all IT users do not feel that they receive sufficient IT support. This is more marked for very large organisations. Large companies have the worst record for resolving IT issues, with 15 per cent of respondents finding it typically takes more than a day for issues to be resolved.

Staff are therefore inclined to attempt to fix issues on their own, with 27 per cent of respondents saying they are most likely to sort IT issues themselves, with men more likely to sort out their own issues than women.

Some industries are blighted more by IT issues. The top four industries of those that experience problems were: Retail, hospitality and leisure, legal and finance and accounting.