Passing the buck on IT issues costs business millions

Staff who consistently shirk responsibility for IT problems in the workplace are costing UK businesses a fortune in lost productivity and investment, according to a new study.

The study, by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Network General, showed that 92 per cent the 300 IT managers surveyed faced delays because staff avoided taking the responsibility for solving IT problems. Staff who "pass the buck" - saying it's someone else's job - cost nearly half of polled firms between one and three days in man-hours, while a third lost as much as a week.

"We realised different departments were living in silo worlds, looking after their own parts of the infrastructure and applications," said Network General's Stuart Beattie, who started the survey. "And staying in individual silos is causing a lot of pain from senior IT management's point of view."

The biggest barriers to swiftly resolving IT issues were poor communication and information and also a lack of clear lines of responsibility.

"People are put in a job with a specific job in mind," said Beattie. "CIOs need to look at cross functional teams, and bring people together from different departments."

Just seven per cent of those surveyed are confident indicators of systems failures are never overlooked at their company. Beattie suggested one way to avoid this is to ensure everyone is looking at the same set of data across the company, rather than having different indicators in each department.