Chief information officers in the UK are still spending two thirds of their time keeping the lights on, according to research.

Sixty four per cent of their time was spent managing existing IT systems, and only 36 per cent on delivering innovative technology, the research found.

The CIOs expressed frustration at the lack of time they had to innovate. Of the 100 surveyed, 96 said coming up with new ideas and systems was meant to be an important part of their job.

Part of the problem was money, 60 per cent said, and over half highlighted time as an issue. But nearly a third said the attitude of senior management, combined with company culture, presented an obstacle to change.

CIOs had trouble effecting change because of a lack of influence. Only 14 per cent said they sit on the management board.

One of the areas of change that some CIOs expect to make is a shift to some cloud computing. While 38 per cent use software on the web, in the next five years a further 17 per cent expect to make the move.

Mobile working was another key area, with 34 per cent saying it was a key challenge in their company. A quarter said their company had “not yet” resolved the issue of giving mobile workers access to applications when they need them.

Andy Jacques, VP Northern Europe at SaaS vendor Salesforce, which commissioned the survey, said CIOs wanted to “go beyond” simply maintaining existing systems and instead deliver change.