The raison d'être of managed service providers (MSP) has been questioned by one MSP after research it commissioned found that the UK is losing £35bn a year in workforce productivity due to poor IT.
Managed 24-7 commissioned YouGov to look at the impact IT downtime is having on UK workforce productivity, which is famously the lowest of all the G7 countries.
According to the survey, which quizzed 2,015 private sector employees, the average UK employee wastes on average 5.59 per cent of their total working time due to IT issues, equating to more than one working day per four-week month.
With 23.34 million people working full-time in the UK, based on an average hourly rate of £12.92 this translates to a potential total cost to the economy of £34.99bn, the research found.
The top four issues employees encountered were slow-running systems/equipment (65 per cent), failures in connection (54 per cent), outdated kit or software (32 per cent) and equipment.
Managed 24-7 CEO John Pepper told CRN that the findings should prompt MSPs to evaluate their role.
According to Pepper (pictured), most people calculate the total cost of IT by looking at factors such as hardware, connectivity and support costs, and MSPs have in response traditionally pitched their services at a technical level.
"We are moving away from SLAs because I don't believe that three hours 59 minutes on a four-hour SLA, with a very expensive resource sitting there, is success; it's failure," he said. "We're moving into the world of workforce productivity analytics, where we are looking at exactly how much that three hours and 59 minutes of lost time has cost the business, and therefore what investments need to be made to ensure that doesn't happen again.
"We have created a workforce productivity analytics tool that allows IT teams to measure how productive the workforce is and marry that up with the technology layer, in terms of how their systems are performing. We are able to tailor their focus on the areas they need to improve to generate the most amount of profit for them."
The research has added resonance given the renewed discussion around whether the UK should raise taxes to deliver essential public services, Pepper said.
"On Radio 4 this morning they were discussing raising taxes. I'm not saying this is going to cure the whole thing, but if you managed a 10 per cent decrease in that, that's £3.5bn," Pepper said.
Pepper said he was motivated to look into the issue because the government had failed to shed any light on what is causing the UK's productivity "crisis". It takes a German worker four days to produce what his or her UK counterpart does in five, Pepper stressed.
"The most astounding thing is that Philip Hammond raised the problem of UK workforce productivity last August, and yet no studies were carried out with full-time employees in the UK to work out how much different things are affecting that. IT is a major contributor to that," Pepper said.
"Ultimately, it's up to us [IT suppliers] now to start looking at how [IT] investments by customers affect workforce productivity. If you are investing millions of pounds in an IT infrastructure project, will that actually improve or decrease employees' ability to do their jobs? As this study shows, there has been an awful lot of wasted money on projects that have not improved workforce productivity, and maybe some of the bigger players aren't necessarily thinking in terms of how they are supplying solutions that improve workforce productivity."
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference