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Many IT staff feel they are of little importance to their employers, even though they save the average UK SME £1.28 million a year by maintaining vital computer systems.

On average, UK IT staff have to cope with 19 hours of downtime and spend 22 hours sorting out crashes and rescuing data each month, according to a survey undertaken by recruitment firm Computer People.

Most employers quizzed for the study appreciated the work put in by their technical workers, with 67 per cent of firms estimating that their IT departments save them up to 30 hours of stress every month by dealing with crashed systems and eradicating computer viruses.

Despite the importance of IT staff to businesses in terms of both time and money saved, many of the computer experts feel unappreciated, or maybe overly modest about their roles.

Only a quarter of the 500 IT staff questioned said that they are indispensable to their company, while a fifth felt they had no impact at all on their employer’s profit margins.

Carole Hepburn, commercial director at Computer People, said that it is important that bosses fully appreciate their IT workers and the massive input they have in the successful running of a small firm.

"We live in an age where organisations are heavily, if not completely, reliant on the technology we employ.

"Because of this, IT professionals are integral to the smooth running of companies.

"As their role is very different to sales professionals, whose impact on profits is more obvious to see, it’s easy to take them for granted and overlook the invaluable service they provide to a company."

© Startups.co.uk is the biggest independent small business site in the UK. It has more than 2500 articles covering everything from taking on staff to dealing with VAT.

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