October 24, 2016  
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Featured Research

Business Analyst Staffing Ratios
October, 2016
Business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff is up for the third year in a row, and we expect that trend to continue. The business analyst serves as a bridge between the IT organization and the users he or she serves. It is a multifaceted function that is important for ensuring that IT application systems meet business objectives. In this study, we assess staffing levels for the business analyst using four metrics: business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff, business analysts as a percentage of the application group, applications per business analyst, and users per business analyst. We also present ratios by organization size and sector. (19 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Data Center Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
October, 2016
Data center outsourcing remained relatively stable over the course of the recession but now appears to be rising. As business growth resumes, IT organizations face decisions on how best to support that increased growth, including whether to upgrade infrastructure, turn to off-premises hosting service providers, or move some computing resources to the cloud. In this study, we examine data center outsourcing trends to provide IT executives with insight into how broadly and eagerly their peers are undertaking outsourcing as a data center strategy. We also examine the success rates that organizations are having with reducing cost and improving service through outsourcing the critical data center function. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Vendor Discount Report (October 2016)
October, 2016
The largest and best discounts are often only offered to the vendors’ best customers, and buyers may find it difficult to determine whether the discount offered is typical or whether a better deal can be negotiated. This report is designed to give procurement personnel, lessors, lessees and departmental manager’s insight and guidance regarding current discount structures on a variety of categories of equipment in the marketplace. Includes a downloadable Excel workbook (14 pp., 21 fig.)

IT Quality Assurance Staffing Ratios
October, 2016
This study provides benchmarks for assessing staffing levels for quality assurance in an IT organization. In our overview, we present the trend in quality assurance staffing. We then provide three benchmarks by organization size and by sector: QA staff as a percentage of the IT staff, QA staff as a percentage of the Application Group, and applications per QA staff member. We conclude with recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the quality assurance function within the IT organization. (19pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Current Use of IT Contingency Workers
October, 2016
As a percentage of the IT staff, the use of contingency workers has fallen back to normal levels after a surge in their use during the recovery period. Nevertheless, the use of contractors among IT organizations remains an important and well-established strategy and one that many IT organizations employed aggressively during the recovery. This study helps IT decision-makers understand how organizations are balancing the use of contingency workers with full-time employees in the current environment. (13pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Security Spending Benchmarks
September, 2016
Although IT security spending as a percentage of the IT budget is flat year over year, the trend has been upward over the past four years. This study establishes benchmarks that enable organizations to assess their spending on IT security software, hardware, and services. The benchmarks include IT security spending as a percentage of the IT budget and IT security spending per user. We examine the four-year trend in these benchmarks as well as variances by organization size and sector. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing IT security costs and ensuring the budget is spent effectively. (19 pp., 10 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Project Management Office Adoption Trends
September, 2016
It has become common for organizations to impose some degree of standardization on their project management processes in an effort to increase success rates. In this study, we examine the trend in adoption of project management offices (PMOs), a best practice that has reached maturity and proved its worth. We present recent practice trends, examine the influence of size and sector on adoption, and provide recommendations for how to measure the success of the PMO. (11 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Database Administration Staffing Ratios
September, 2016
In recent years, database administrators (DBAs) have made up a somewhat declining portion of the IT staff, despite the growing amounts of data that organizations are maintaining. This study helps IT managers determine whether they are keeping pace with industry standards by providing four benchmarks: DBAs as a percentage of the IT staff, DBAs as a percentage of the Data Center Group, users per DBA, and business applications per DBA. We present benchmarks for small, midsize, and large organizations. We also examine the influence of sector on these benchmarks as well as the multiyear trend in DBA staffing. (21pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Desktop Support Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
September, 2016
Customer satisfaction with desktop support outsourcing appears to be rising, while the use of these services has not. It could be time to reassess the outsourcing of this function in light of current trends. This study examines adoption trends and customer experience with desktop support outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations that outsource (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present success rates for the customer’s cost and service experience, and show how use of these services differs by organization size and sector. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Desktop Virtualization Adoption Trends and Customer Experience
August, 2016
Desktop virtualization solutions are maturing, but they still have a low adoption rating compared to other technologies studied. This study provides an overview of key concepts and vendors in this space. We then examine desktop virtualization adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We also look at the return on investment experience, total cost of ownership experience of adopters, and which virtual desktop solutions are the most popular. (18 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Management Best Practices 2016/2017
August, 2016
Much of the mission of the IT organization is to automate and improve business processes throughout the enterprise. But the IT organization itself also has its own need for process improvement and automation. The best-run IT organizations not only focus their process improvement efforts on those of other departments, they also seek to optimize their own IT management processes internally. In this study, we examine the growth and maturity of 33 IT management practices which we have grouped into five major categories: IT governance practices, IT financial management practices, IT operational management practices, IT security and risk management practices, and software development practices. (186 pp., 170 figs.)
[Full Report Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]

IT Outsourcing Statistics 2016/2017
August, 2016
This major study profiles outsourcing activity for 10 IT functions: application development, application maintenance, data center operations, database administration, desktop support, disaster recovery services, help desk services, IT security, network operations, and web/e-commerce systems. For each IT function, we measure the frequency and level of outsourcing. We also look at the current plans of IT organizations to increase or decrease the amount of work they outsource.  We examine the customer experience to assess whether organizations are successfully lowering costs or improving service through outsourcing. Finally, we show the outsourcing frequency by sector for each function. (105 pp., 89 fig.)
Full Report Description
[Research Byte]

IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2016/2017: Full Study
June, 2016
Our 2016/2017 IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study provides a comprehensive view of the current state of IT budgeting and staffing levels for business and governmental organizations in the U.S. and Canada, based on our 27th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. This article allows purchase of all 25 chapters at a significant discount off the individual chapter price. Individual chapters are also available for purchase--click the Full Study Description below for details. (1,436 pp., 911 figs.)
[Full Study Description and Individual Chapter Pricing]

2016 IT Salary Report
December, 2015
The Computer Economics 2016 IT Salary Report provides total compensation (base pay plus incentive pay) for 69 specific IT job functions for more than 400 U.S. metro areas and 20 industry sectors. The executive summary also provides our forecast for pay raises and hiring in 2016 and includes job descriptions for each job function in this study. The salary tables are provided as a downloadable Microsoft Excel workbook, with total salaries reported at the 10th, 25th, 50th (median), 75th, and 90th percentiles. (28 pp., 5 figs., plus salary tables)
[Full Description and Free Executive Summary]

For more research, browse the Research Sections to the left, or use the Search field in the header of this page. Note: most articles that are limited to subscribers only can be purchased on an individual basis.
Free Research Bytes

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New AI Offerings Make It Clear: Stop Investing in Big Data

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Data Center Outsourcing Cost Success High

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