How much are IT issues costing businesses?

A productivity ‘blackhole’ is thought to cost UK industry £4 billion each year.
24 June 2019

Time wasted on IT issues adds up quickly. Source: Shutterstock

It’s easy to swat away concerns that occasional employee IT issues could have a tangible impact on bottom lines. But the fact is all those hours of lost productivity add up rapidly.

According to UK-based research by Capita, employees lose at least an hour a month to IT problems. While that may not sound like much, it equates to £4 billion (US$5 billion) worth of lost productivity across industry each year.

The findings suggest that while many companies claim to be ‘digital workplaces’, they are often falling short of the mark in the eyes of employees.

At the same time, however, 95 percent of workers said they had IT issues at work, just 65 percent said they’d reached out to IT support or service desks to solve them.

Ultimately, despite the ongoing digital transformation agenda that’s talked so much about, more than a third of employees claim not to rate their IT experience.

Lost productivity

Faced with what he described as a productivity “black hole”, Capita’s IT and Networks’ Executive Officer, Joe Hemming said many companies were not even aware it exists.

“Organizations cannot expect their workforce to be productive without providing them with the IT experience they need to do their job effectively.

“As digitalization continues to impact our home and work lives, and as employees become increasingly IT literate, introducing and promoting the use of self-service tools will make it possible to resolve IT issues as quickly and accurately as possible.”

The report recommended that businesses focus on fostering the increasing tech skills of users and improve the quality of IT support offered, by driving the uptake of self-service tools where possible.

But, with only a third (33 percent) of workers claiming to have been asked for feedback on their IT experience, the case for increasing the amount and frequency of feedback on the IT user experience is clear.

Benefits of doing so won’t just be an improvement to productivity— workplace technology is a factor in more than three-quarters (76 percent) of people’s career choices and is therefore crucial to staff retention.

“It’s clear that a significant number of employees are not being given a good IT experience at work,” said Hemming.

“Organizations must look carefully at how they manage and measure the delivery of IT services to users in order to bring these in line with the expectations of an increasingly digitally-aware and entitled workforce.  

“With IT playing an ever-increasing role in people’s career choices it will be those organizations that can provide a truly digital workspace experience which stand to reap the rewards.”