Technology issues in IT and Telecoms identified as contributor to the UK's productivity gap

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New research released from Managed 24/7 has revealed that the average employee in IT and Telecoms who uses IT loses more than 20 minutes per day of productive time due to technology issues.

A critical new report released todaay by Managed 24/7, a leading managed IT services business, reports 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 support. 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 employee in the GB IT and Telecoms sector who uses IT and has wasted any time on IT issues, wastes 20.62 minutes per day due to IT issues. Ironically IT and telecoms are the worst affected sectors for the impact of IT issues on customer relationships, with 35% of respondents saying they have received IT-related complaints from customers, compared to 24% on average for all sectors polled.

The top five issues experienced by IT users in the GB IT and Telecoms sector in the last year:

  • Failures in connection (61%)
  • Slow running systems / equipment (60%)
  • Outdated kit or software (37%)
  • Poorly installed new systems and/ or equipment. (21%)
  • A system crash lasting more than a few hours

In addition to the underlying costs in term of productivity and the bottom line, the report also found that amongst employees who use IT at work:

  • 32% believe that their workplace IT systems are damaging their ability to do a good job, a rate which rises to 37% for firms with more than 500 employees
  • 44% believe that IT problems directly cost their business time and money
  • 40% agree that they had better IT systems at home than at work
  • 24% who have experienced IT issues said they have caused customers to complain, a proportion that rises to 30% 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 The UK currently ranks seventh in the G7 and 17th in the G20 for productivity per person, and fixing our outdated and poorly managed IT systems and support should play a significant role in closing this gap, especially in the UK IT and Telecoms sector.

"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 our IT issues to ensure we aren't left behind by our more technically adept neighbours."

When issues do occur, more than a third (34%) of IT users do not feel that they receive sufficient IT support. This is more marked for very large organisations (500 or more employee firms where 36% of staff feeling dissatisfied). Large companies (those with more than 500 employees) have the worst record for resolving IT issues, with 15% 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% of respondents saying they are most likely to sort IT issues themselves, with men more likely to sort out their own issues (34%), than women (20%).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,015 private sector employees (under senior management). Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th and 21st March 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of GB businesses by size (i.e. number of employees).

* Average UK loss per year per employee is £1,499 (based on an average hourly rate of £12.92 and the loss of 116 hours a year – source: ONS, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2016 provisional results.

With 23.34m people working full-time in the UK the potential total cost to the economy is £34,993,662,000 – or £35bn per annum.

(Source: ONS, Statistical Bulletin, UK Labour Market, March 2017). Calculations are conducted by Mobas.

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