Report: Small businesses lose $24 billion a year due to non-IT workers

If you work in a small business that has a network of PCs, the chance are good that it does not have a dedicated IT worker trying to fix problems with the PCs and the network itself. So what does that business do when something does go wrong? Microsoft claims that, all too often, the problems are dealt with by what the company calls 'involuntary IT managers'. These IITMs might have some knowledge of PC hardware, software and networking but they are not formally trained IT employees.

Microsoft commissioned AMI-Partners to run a study of 538 IITMs working in small businesses located in Australia, Brazil, Chile, India and the United States. The results of this survey claim that 3.8 million small businesses have their internal computer networks services run by IITMs. However, the same survey claims that those businesses lose a total of $24 billion a year due to these workers managing their IT networks.

Why? Most of these employees have to do other jobs besides managing the computer network of their organisation and Microsoft says that these workers lose six hours per week managing these IT issues. 30 percent of IITMs feel that having to fix these PC and network problems is a "nuisance" and 26 percent claim they don't even feel qualified to manage a network of PCs.

Andy Bose, the founder, chairman and CEO at AMI-Partners, states, “As our research shows, relying on an Involuntary IT Manager can have an adverse impact on small businesses’ productivity, which can negatively affect revenue and translates into a very high opportunity cost." What's the solution? Microsoft uses the results of the study to promote the use of its cloud-based solutions such as Office 365, Windows Azure and more to take some of the burden off their own workers.

Source: Microsoft
PC workers image via Shutterstock

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