Councils in England, Scotland and Wales have spent more than £160 million on PCs and laptops since the start of 2013.
Freedom of information requests sent to 401 British councils, of which 275 replied, revealed that since the beginning of 2013 councils have purchased 355,759 PCs and laptops, equivalent to 217 per day, for a grand total of £160,173,037.
British councils have also disposed of 349,441 laptops and computers, which equates to 213 disposed of per day. In total, councils have spent, on average, £32,034,607 per year on new laptops and PCs.
Despite paying this much for new computers, a separate study by computer tech company Crucial found that nearly half of public sector professionals waste their work time helping colleagues with IT issues.
Half of public sector workers said they lose up to 10 minutes of productivity per day – that’s up to 50 minutes per work week. Common issues include a PC or programme freezing or running slowly for 46 per cent of respondents, a PC or programme crashing, not being able to connect to the internet and losing unsaved work.
As a result of this, 23 per cent of public sector workers feel like they spend too much time fixing other people’s IT issues, and the most common fixes for their colleague’s issues were either calling IT support or turning off their PC.
At a time when some councils are withholding business rates relief to SMEs in their areas this spend on unnecessary IT hardware is a concern.
Jonathan Weech, Crucial SSD Sr. Product Marketing Manager, commented, “Frustrated employees and a loss of productive work time harm organisations, and older PCs that freeze or crash unexpectedly can be a cause for concern. However, these problems can be fixed without wasting precious time or buying new computers. There is an incorrect perception that due to the fast-evolving nature of technology, systems cannot last long, but if you make some small changes to your existing systems you will see a dramatic increase in speed and efficiency.”