IT departments spend a third of their time fire fighting problems

Two thirds of IT projects fail to provide their scheduled return on investment

IT departments spend a third of their time fire fighting problems

The survey of over 200 European IT directors by performance management business Compuware found that on average IT department spent more than a third (35%) of their time fixing problems with existing IT hardware and software, and this is having a knock on effect on IT project success.

Even the best IT departments surveyed spent 15% of their time dealing with unplanned tasks. While 15% may not sound much, over a year that adds up to nearly two months spent fixing problems.

Two-thirds of IT projects fail

The survey also revealed that the consequence of this unplanned fixing was a reduction in the success of IT projects. On average slightly less than two-thirds (65%) of projects were deemed to have been a failure with just 35% delivering a successful outcome and the planned return on investment.

However in the best performing IT departments three-quarters (75%) of projects were successful and delivered the ROI originally forecast.

Move to the cloud and fixed SLAs

When asked what they were doing to help reduce fire fighting and unplanned tasks, more than a third (34%) said that they were looking at full cloud integration of public, hybrid and private cloud as their top priority. With more than half (56%) of IT directors identifying the ability to manage performance through end-to-end SLAs, with complete visibility of all business processes across all forms of cloud environment, as a key priority.

"With so much time spent fire fighting in many IT departments, it is unsurprising that projects are running over," said Michael Allen, EMEA Strategic Director at Compuware. "This presents a problem not just for the IT department, but for the organisation as a whole, as well as its customers. The only way that IT directors will be able to resolve these issues is by finding a better way of managing their infrastructure and services. By freeing up their time from dealing with unplanned disruptions, IT teams will be able to concentrate instead on supplying services in line with the timescales forecast, improving user experience and delivering a better ROI for the business."