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Small Businesses With "Involuntary" IT Managers Lose $24 Billion In Productivity Annually, According To AMI-Partners Study

REDMOND, Wash., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Small businesses are losing more than $24 billion in productivity each year when nontechnical employees, referred to as involuntary IT managers (IITMs), are tasked with managing their companies' IT solutions. This loss is a direct result of IITMs taking time away from primary business activities, according to an AMI-Partners small-business study commissioned by Microsoft Corp.

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The Involuntary IT Manager study takes a broad look at the prevalence of the IITM role in nine countries in North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, focusing specifically on the adverse business productivity impact of IITMs in small business in five countries: Australia, Brazil, Chile, India and the United States. Surveying 538 IITMs across nationally representative samples of small businesses with 100 employees or less in the five countries, the AMI-Partners research study determined that approximately 3.8 million small businesses managed internal IT by IITMs. Although such small businesses spent $83 billion on IT and communications, paradoxically they lost $24 billion in productivity trying to manage their internal IT. The survey also found that small businesses' IITMs think cloud-based solutions can help alleviate some of the burden of managing IT.

The Drawbacks of Having an IITM

On average, IITMs lose six hours per week (around 300 hours per year) of business productivity while managing IT, according to AMI-Partners. The AMI-Partners white paper stated that while some IITMs are confident in their technical skills, most find their general work productivity suffers when their work time is diverted to managing IT issues. Key study findings include these:

  • Thirty percent of all surveyed IITMs feel that IT management is a nuisance.
  • Twenty-six percent indicated they do not feel qualified to manage IT.
  • Six in 10 IITMs want to simplify their company's technology solutions to alleviate the difficulty of managing IT day-to-day.

The Involuntary IT Manager study also found that when IITMs work at small businesses with 15 or more employees, their firms lose even more productivity time than IITMs working at companies with fewer employees.

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