ALMOST two-thirds of workers in smaller businesses are having to handle IT issues themselves, according to new research released this week. And it's more serious than just telling people to turn their computers off then on again.
The trend has even led to the creation of a new buzz term: the "involuntary IT manager".
This new responsibility is falling on staff or owners to deal with tech dramas as they pop up, eating into productivity.
Microsoft surveyed 1000 firms with less than 250 staff about how tech support was treated inside their companies.
Most (63%) of these reluctant tech heroes find it irritating to be pulled away from their other work to put out an IT fire.
The survey coincides with the release of Microsoft 365 Business, which is aimed at small to medium companies.
Workers in these firms are spending four hours a week on tech issues yet the same survey also found 90% considered formal IT support "redundant".
Microsoft spokesman Ian Heard said workers were in a "self-sufficient" era in relation to IT.
He said one-quarter of workers did not see the point in formal support, and he expected that number to grow. A quarter of those who took the survey said their company did have IT support, but they still preferred to ask a colleague or hunt online for answers.
However 87% still supported formal data security and privacy systems for emails, networks and hardware.
"IT security is no longer an option for businesses as it poses the largest threat to privacy and protection of IP. It's good to see it's not just the business owners understanding this significance, but every employee taking responsibility too," Mr Heard said.
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