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Keeping systems up and running is holding back European IT managers from contributing to business improvement as much as they could.

A shock survey reveals the majority of IT managers' time is taken up with "making IT work". For the hard of thinking, Benchmark Research associate director Paul Watts hammered the point home with the the astounding truism: "Almost regardless of organisation size or industry sector, maintenance accounts for a very sizeable share of the IT budget across Europe." Sounds pretty reasonable to us.

However, all this "making IT work" drudgery stifles innovation you see; there's no time for strategy chinwaggery, blue skies drinking or for HP, who funded the survey, buying new kit.

The survey did highlight the security industry's success in climbing the budgetary agenda; out of 16 concerns security threats were the number one concern.

HP seems disappointed with poor penetration of service-oriented architecture, which only 31 per cent said they were fairly familiar or better with. The firm is pushing new services aimed at modernising application delivery.

The survey dipsticked 700 European IT managers in eight countries. ®

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