£6.89bn wasted on IT?

SolarWinds has revealed the results from SolarWinds Time and Budget Spent on IT Study, (“the study”), which looked into the priorities and challenges faced by 500 IT decision makers in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the UK and Germany in March 2013.

The study found that the IT software budgets for 93 per cent of SMEs has increased or remained the same over the last five years. Despite this, more than three quarters of companies said that on average, 12 per cent of software purchases still go unused.

This is the first in a series of surveys from SolarWinds and demonstrates that while investing in IT software is seen as an important expenditure, there is work to be done to ensure that the software purchased is used effectively.

The majority of SMEs surveyed (63 per cent), have an IT manager who is principally responsible for addressing IT issues — though in over 30 per cent of organisations, the business owner or manager fulfils this role. Almost one third of respondents said that IT is not their main responsibility within their organisation, yet despite this, spend up to 30 per cent of their time managing IT issues.

Key findings include:


87 per cent of UK respondents said that up to half of purchased IT software is not utilised. Of this group, 28 per cent said that up to a fifth of software purchased goes unused.

While budgets increased or remain the same in most industry sectors, companies in financial services and manufacturing were more likely to have reduced IT budgets the most in the last five years.

Although IT spending is important to UK SMEs, budgets are small. One in five companies spends just £1,500 on IT software each year.

Security and uptime

More than a quarter of those in the UK whom said that IT budgets had decreased or remained the same, stated that this had a detrimental impact on IT security and uptime. This is in comparison to Germany where less than ten per cent felt that flat budgets had a negative impact on IT security and uptime.

IT responsibilities

The majority of SMEs with fewer than 50 employees said that IT is managed by the business owner, in comparison to SMEs with greater than 50 employees where the majority had a dedicated IT manager to address IT issues.

Of those surveyed in the UK, more than one in ten said that IT was not their main responsibility. Comparatively, almost half of those surveyed in Germany, have other responsibilities outside of IT within their organisation.

Furthermore, of those for whom IT is not their main responsibility, one third of UK respondents said that they spend an overwhelming 30 per cent of their time managing IT issues.

“The fact that three quarters of respondents said that a percentage of their IT software is going unused is not surprising to me given that so many vendors are putting out expensive, difficult to install, and hard to use software,” said Sanjay Castelino, VP and Market Leader, SolarWinds. “Our mission at SolarWinds has always been to eliminate the complexity found in traditional enterprise software, making it easy to find, buy, deploy and maintain from the day it’s downloaded.”

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