Skilled IT staff are being wasted on the IT equivalent of vacuuming and washing the dishes.
Password resets and e-mail management are the top two bugbears for IT departments, with end-users in general and the support of remote and mobile workforces also featuring high up in the list of the least popular chores, say senior IT executives.
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Research, based on a series of interviews with UK CIOs and senior IT professionals, was conducted by desktop-on-demand provider Nasstar.
It found IT workers are still inundated with chores that sap their ability to work profitably and strategically for their employers.
One UK CIO said he believed up to 70% of his staff's time was spent on non-strategic IT tasks - "just keeping the lights on".
Charles Black, CEO of Nasstar, said, "It seems incredible that talented IT resources are still being spent on basic maintenance tasks.
"I do not suppose for one minute the CEO of these companies runs around with a vacuum cleaner, while the CFO collects dirty plates and mugs from people's desks at the end of the day.
"So why are well-paid and well-skilled IT professionals still losing sleep over patching and upgrades, which should be pushed out centrally."
The top irritations were:
1. Password resets
2. E-mail management
3. End-users in general
4. Fixing broken printer and photocopiers
5. Support of remote and mobile working
6. Upgrade cycles and applying patches