An independent study has found that IT managers are apathetic to the needs of the business when dealing with requests for data.

Despite being one of the most valuable assets that a company has to maximise revenue potential, almost two thirds of IT managers admitted to a deficit in the way in which their department is delivering business critical information to employees. This ‘data waiting game’ challenges the attitude that many UK businesses adopt towards the management and use of their corporate data across the enterprise.

According to the research, the average IT department takes around four and a half days to deliver information requested by employees. This delayed response time can result in reduced productivity, errors in customer service and failure to capitalise on market opportunities.

60 per cent of IT managers claimed that a lack of IT resource impacts on their ability to deliver data efficiently and in line with the requests they receive from employees within their organisation. Despite this, more than half (57 per cent) recognise the need for data to be managed more efficiently, in order to help the business balance the need for efficiency and revenue growth.

The findings of this research shine a spotlight on the mammoth challenge faced by IT departments to manage the huge volumes of critical data hosted within a business organisation. Most significantly, it also highlights the direct impact that this challenge can have on both productivity and potential revenue, if an effective solution is not found.

Whilst the IT department battles to control a tidal wave of data within the organisations’ infrastructure, employees naturally become increasingly frustrated when they can’t get the information they want, when they want it. It’s an age-old battle which most businesses are already familiar with, but one which most are yet to win.

Most companies are bursting at the seams with reams of data, all of which needs to be stored and managed within the business infrastructure. The recent IDC Digital universe report examined the explosive growth of media content today. It revealed that between now and 2020, the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes as all major forms of media – voice, TV, radio, print – complete the journey from analogue to digital.

Additionally, through the proliferation of social media, text analytics are becoming a valuable component for businesses looking to achieve a deeper insight into customer’s movements and purchasing behaviours. This growing volume of data is set to add to the woes of IT departments that are already struggling to find the balance between the management of an organisations’ data and the demand for access to it by employees with other IT requirements, meaning that time and resource are increasingly tested.

When asked why it takes longer for them to deliver timely data, one in four IT managers said that they prioritise other IT tasks ahead of providing information to those employees that require it. 44 per cent cited infrastructure complexity as one of the main causes for delay, whilst over a third (43 per cent) cited the incompatibility of various databases within the organisations’ network as an obstacle to enabling them to deliver accurate, timely data.

Whilst this is common ground for most, the change in the business landscape where the value of data has become so engrained in corporate culture means that as businesses creak under the explosion of more and more data, inconsistencies begin to come to the fore if managed incorrectly.

It is essential for businesses today to take advantage of the intelligence and resource at their fingertips by ensuring that their technology is up to scratch, to avoid the wedge that inaccurate data, fragmented infrastructure and sluggish processes could drive between them and true business success.