Ah, another fine morning and another fine Microsoft-commissioned research. Redmond contracted AMI-Partners to run a study of 538 IITMs working in small businesses in various countries.

IITMs, is what the company calls ‘involuntary IT managers’. Smart.

The study was conducted in Australia, Brazil, Chile, India and the United States. The results claim that no less than 3.8 million small businesses have their internal computer network services run by IITMs. These workers result in a loss totaling $24 billion a year for these small businesses.

Andy Bose, founder, chairman and CEO of AMI-Partners put it best:

“As our research shows, relying on an Involuntary IT Manager can have an adverse impact on small businesses’ productivity, which can negatively affect revenue and translates into a very high opportunity cost. These companies can potentially leverage cloud services to alleviate the need for day-to-day in-house IT support with positive impact on their business productivity.”

The reason cited is that most of these employees have others jobs to take care of besides managing the computer network in their organization. Microsoft says that this leads to workers losing an average of six hours per week managing these IT issues.

In fact, 30 percent of IITMs feel that fixing these PC and network problem is a nuisance, and a staggering 26 percent even claim that don’t even feel qualified to manage a network of PCs. Ouch!

The software titan has also put up an infographic at the page detailing the impact of non-IT professionals managing technology in small businesses.

And what is the solution to all this? Microsoft uses the results of the study to promote its cloud-based solutions like Office 365 and Windows Azure to help small businesses take the burden of managing IT off of their workers.

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