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Small businesses are losing up to £6,000 a year in lost productivity because their IT systems aren't up to scratch.

So says research by PC World Business, the catalogue arm of Dixons Group, which found that regular IT failures among small businesses can lead to a loss of productivity, undermine morale among hacked-off workers and damage relationships with punters.

What's more, when IT gear does go titsup it's often left to senior staff to deal with the problems.

Said the research: "When IT fails, managers are forced to turn their attention away from their primary business goals, and this is especially true in smaller businesses where employing dedicated IT staff is not a viable option."

The research also found that most IT problems are routine and easy to fix, with seven in ten problems able to be sorted within 15 minutes, says PCBW which is promoting a magic wand service called Remote IT Management.

But small businesses suffer long than they should, because they are numpties (our word, not PCWB's) when it comes to IT. According to PCWB, the issue is "so significant that many employees see IT outages as a barrier to doing their job properly, and often leave their job because of it. With the cost of labour turnover to businesses averaging £4,000 per person, this represents a huge financial risk to businesses unable to manage their IT systems effectively."

When you put it like this, how could you not sign up for Remote IT Management?

PCWB bases its £6K-a-year lost revenues estimate on a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development labour survey from 2002, which calculates that the cost of IT failures to business – mainly caused by decreased productivity - at between 0.1 and 1 per cent of overall revenue. ®

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