The annual survey by services company Synstar International, which monitors the pressures experienced by about 700 IT managers across Europe, revealed a significant rise in concern about the level of system crashes and network downtime. Pressure in this area was reported as rising by 29% since last year.
It found that IT managers have been spending their diminishing IT budgets on "visible" projects that will deliver return on investment and impress the board, as opposed to projects to maintain systems' reliability.
The report urged IT managers to educate the board about the importance of basic system maintenance projects and protecting systems against security breaches.
But despite the continued downturn in the IT sector Synstar's research found that IT managers felt the pressure they were under had eased in the past 12 months, although this was attributed to the impact of diminishing budgets, which meant fewer IT projects and less stress.
The research did, however, reveal that IT managers are raising their profiles at board level and now have the opportunity to assume a more strategic role within their organisations.
About 62% of the IT managers surveyed said that they now proactively approach the board with strategic advice, with 30% saying that the board already contacts them directly for consultation.