Half of IT departments in UK businesses are spending approximately 20% of their time on server administration, while a further 41% said it swallowed up between 20% and 40% of their time.
This is one of the findings of a survey of 100 enterprise IT managers conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of technology integration and managed services company Morse.
"It's no secret that server management is a time consuming and mundane task, but servers are the backbone of any business and this means it is absolutely critical that they are well maintained in order to keep the business running," says Andrew Wycherley, managed services business manager at Morse.
"However, what needs to be decided is how efficient it is for IT staff to be spending such a large proportion of their time on server administration tasks. If administration is eating into a significant portion of the IT department's day, it can really hinder their ability to focus on other work that would hold more value for the business. After all, other people in the business don't care how servers are managed as long as they can access the applications they want, when they want."
The survey found that server administration is an ongoing task, with IT managers having to undertake a variety of activities, including constantly monitoring, patching and backing up servers, and administering user accounts.
When asked which server administration and management tasks they rated as top of the list for giving them grief, 35% of IT managers said it was patch management, while 28% said server back-up. Twenty-three percent nominated administering user accounts and 14% said server monitoring.