External email failure and IT difficulties are top of the list of daily annoyances for employees, according to new research.

The findings from Osterman Research show email systems are down for an average of 69 minutes per month, resulting in many companies not working at their best.

Birmingham-based IT company, Net-shield - which specialises in information technology infrastructure and security - believes the research represents a well overdue wake up call for local businesses.

Richard Carty, director, said: "Most businesses use email as their primary way of communicating so when employees are unable to check, send or receive external emails, it can have a high business impact for everyone."

Mr Carty believes that many of the problems can be resolved easily and quickly.

He added: "IT teams are under increasing pressure to solve problems as soon as they can but this is often not possible due to the size of the team or the amount of issues that may have been registered.

"With IT infrastructures becoming increasingly complex, particularly in relation to security, what can seem a small job can turn into a time consuming issue."

Netshield is urging local companies to use the knowledge of their IT teams wisely for local, onsite issues and look at outsourcing network management which will help to save money and time.

Mr Carty said: "Handing over the network management to an external agency gives a company more freedom to tackle the everyday issues of IT, leaving everyone free to concentrate on the business and customers."