Research released today has found 59% of senior IT decision makers say their business doesn't share the capacity of its IT assets nor have they any way to demonstrate savings.

The report by Morse, the business technology consultancy, has found 52% blame departmental interests for refusing to relinquish control of assets. Other reasons for not sharing resource capacity were little perceived return on investment from sharing capacity (33%) and the process for sharing capacity being too complex (33%).

As a result, Morse says UK businesses are failing to optimise their IT assets and are not benefiting from advantages such as cost savings by purchasing fewer devices and having a less complex environment to manage.

The research found that 45% of senior IT decision makers would allow IT equipment like storage and servers to be purchased on a department by department basis, rather than centrally, with IT department ownership and control over capacity allocated to different departments as required. The situation was even worse in the financial services sector with over half (57%) of those surveyed admitting that they allowed departmental purchasing.

When questioned further about purchasing strategies, 58% said they would let one department with urgent additional storage or server needs to purchase its own devices if it came out of its own project budget. This practice is even more widespread in the financial sector with 86%, allowing departments to purchase their own storage or servers if it is paid for out of their own budget.

Over half (52%) of those surveyed said their organisation finds it difficult to say exactly how many IT devices it has and how they are being utilised and managed at any one point in time. Furthermore, 74% said that they avoided asking each department to try to predict what server or storage capacity they might need in the next few months.

"Although many businesses have fallen into the trap of accommodating different departments and allowing them to purchase their own equipment, steps can be taken to help bring the assets back under the control of the IT department," said Scott Reynolds, Morse consultant. "Once the IT department has control of the assets centrally, it can begin to move towards a service-oriented 'on demand' structure where departments requiring storage or server capacity can request it from the IT department and have it allocated to them. This will allow the IT department to control the capacity usage, while the business benefits from cost savings achieved by purchasing fewer devices and creating an IT environment which is easier to manage."

The survey of 100 senior IT decision makers was conducted by independent research company Vanson Bourne.