Research commissioned by TalkTalk Business has found that UK small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are prepared to tackle IT problems head on, despite many having recieved no formal training.

The survey, which was carried out by The Leadership Factor in May 2013, found that the majority (62%) of 1,027 people surveyed would take on an IT challenge, compared with one quarter who would report it to the IT team. Moreover, 40% of those surveyed said they had received no IT training.

Despite apparently high levels of confidence, only 9% of SMB workers rate themselves as 'Techno Heroes', and they suffer an average of two hours' downtime per week.

As such, TalkTalk says that SMBs prepared to give more priority to IT training would gain the equivalent of an extra member of staff for every 20 employees.

Highly valued

The survey results suggest could bring other benefits, as more than two-thirds of respondents indicated that tech-smart staff are valued highly by senior management and fellow colleagues alike.

Additionally, almost 60% of respondents said that better IT skills would make them more efficient personally, increase peer respect and boost career prospects.

However, over half (51%) of respondents said that responsibility for IT training lies with their employer, with 36% feeling personally responsible for making sure their IT skills are up to scratch.

Charles Bligh, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business, said that addressing the skills gap effectively is the key to unlocking any investment in technology.

He said: "Businesses which are able to invest in reducing the skills gap will clearly be able to benefit from improved efficiencies and productivity – as well as the positive and engaged attitude staff have to technology in the workplace."