Businesses must tackle an "explosion of complexity" in their IT infrastructure to improve innovation, according to an IDC report.
The analyst firm claimed simplifying IT systems halves the time it takes to deploy new services and reduces the number of IT staff required to do maintenance from 65% to 37% in the Oracle-commissioned research, released today.
Michael Fauscette, group VP of software business solutions at IDC, said: "Many companies today are overwhelmed by the cost and competitive disadvantage that IT complexity can create.
"By simplifying their IT infrastructure, organisations can devote more of their focus and resources to delivering innovation, driving productivity and keeping customers happy."
The report found there is an increasing need to tackle the issue. It read: "Given the explosion of complexity at all layers, there is accelerating urgency surrounding this task.
"Perhaps the most compelling reason to simplify IT infrastructure is that for most enterprises, IT is not their core business."
It added that by simplifying IT estates, firms could devote more resources to providing better services.
An economic model IDC devised to test the benefits of reducing complexity showed an average saving of $3,610 per user.
It attributed the savings to more efficient IT, reduced IT management costs, and the ability to align IT more closely with business demands.
The firm found that most companies used a 'rip and replace' model to simplify IT, swapping outdated infrastructure for a more consolidated system.
The report added: "This could consist of simply consolidating applications onto fewer servers or could mean the use of converged and integrated systems.
"You can't simplify infrastructure by adding new layers of integration, UIs, or applications. This is akin to adding more spit, tape, and Band-Aids to an already suboptimal solution."