February 12, 2016  
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IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2014/2015 now available! IT budget, IT spending, IT metrics, benchmarks, and more.
Featured Research

Desktop Support Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
February, 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. (14 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Help Desk Staffing Ratios
January, 2016
This study provides metrics for benchmarking help desk staffing levels in the current environment. We look at the trend in help desk staffing over a five-year period and provide two benchmarks by organization size and sector: help desk staff as a percentage of the IT staff and users per help desk staff member. Because companies organize the end-user support function in different ways, we also provide benchmarks for a combined help desk and desktop support staff. We conclude with recommendations on optimizing help desk staffing levels. (19 pp., 9 fig.)
[Reseach Byte]

Help Desk Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
January, 2016
The number of organizations that outsource help desk work rose in 2015, halting a two-year decline during which IT organizations brought help desk operations back in-house. Help desk outsourcing is a strategy IT organizations turn to when budgets get tight. This study examines adoption trends and customer experience with help desk outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing help desk (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. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (13 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Vendor Discount Report (January 2016)
January, 2016
Market intelligence on current discounting practices for business equipment can be difficult obtain. As a result, buyers do not know whether a better deal can be negotiated. This updated report, based on our knowledge of recent deals, provides buyers with guidance concerning current discount structures on a variety of equipment. Categories include IT equipment (desktops, laptops, network equipment, printers, servers, and storage), office equipment (copiers, mail equipment), forklifts, medical equipment, test equipment, and miscellaneous equipment. Major vendors include IBM, HP, Dell, HP, Apple, and others. Includes a downloadable PDF workbook of more than 300 deals used in the report to calculate average discounts and soft cost statistics (14pp., 12 figs.).

IT Spending and Staffing Outlook for 2016: Divergence Ahead
December, 2015
As they make budget plans for 2016, IT organizations in the U.S. and Canada are of two minds. Some IT organizations are bullish about the future and even forecasting a revival in IT capital spending. Others, particularly larger ones, anticipate no growth in their budgets and appear to be hunkering down. Meanwhile, security will be a top priority and migration to the cloud ongoing. In our annual IT budget outlook study, we provide guidance for IT executives in the U.S. and Canada as they firm up spending plans for the coming year. The study assesses IT operational and capital spending plans for 2016, priorities for IT spending and investment, and plans for hiring and outsourcing. (24 pp., 23 fig.)
[Research Byte]

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]


Agile Development Adoption and Best Practices
November, 2015
After more than two decades of maturation, agile development methodologies have a track record of speeding the software development cycle, improving functionality, and raising user satisfaction ratings. While adoption remains only moderate, agile development continues to gain adherents as more organizations face the necessity of continuous adaptation to a changing environment, our research shows. In this study, we present research on how widely and deeply agile development is being embraced by IT organizations today. We look at adoption by organization size and sector, and we outline some of the best practices. (13 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Which Comes First: New Processes or New System?
November, 2015
When implementing new enterprise systems, business process improvement is an important element in ensuring success. But what should come first? Should you redesign business processes and select the system to fit, or should you select the new system and redesign the business processes to fit the system?  This Research Byte provides expert advice on how to approach this common dilemma.

Desktop Support Staffing Ratios
November, 2015
This study provides benchmarks on typical desktop support staffing. We use two metrics to benchmark desktop support staffing: desktop support staff as a percentage of the IT staff and PCs per desktop support staff member. We also assess these ratios by organization size and sector. In addition, we provide benchmarks for the combined desktop support and help desk functions. We conclude with strategies for improving the efficiency of the desktop support staff. (19pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Database Administration Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
November, 2015
Outsourcing the database administration function usually is undertaken to reduce costs, achieve better cost predictability, and improve the level of IT functionality. To help IT executives understand their options, this study examines adoption trends in database administration outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing database administration (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. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (13 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Strategic Planning Adoption and Best Practices
October, 2015
In the current environment, IT strategic planning is more essential than ever. The strategic plan can help an IT organization look beyond economic uncertainty, stay focused on long-term goals, and guide it through the accelerating shift to the cloud, a transformation that will provide the flexibility needed to navigate the ongoing volatility in global markets. In this study, we describe the fundamental components of an IT strategic plan, assess current adoption trends by organization size and sector, and outline some key steps for starting the process. (13 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Oracle v. Rimini Street Verdict Clarifies Ground Rules for Third-Party Maintenance
October, 2015
Earlier this month, the jury reached its verdict in the Oracle v. Rimini Street lawsuit, a closely-watched case involving third-party maintenance (3PM) in the enterprise software industry. Assuming the jury’s verdict stands up against potential appeals, the case sets an important precedent for how 3PM providers should operate to ensure they are not violating the intellectual property rights of the software owners. We expect customer use of third-party maintenance will increase as a result of this verdict.

Benchmarks for IT Training Budgets
October, 2015
There are many factors influencing the changing requirements for training by IT organizations today, ranging from the evolving composition of the IT staff to the introduction of new cloud, infrastructure, and mobile technologies. This study provides IT organizations with benchmarks for setting competitive IT training budgets for their organizations in the wake of these changes. We provide benchmarks for spending on IT training per IT staff member and as a percentage of the IT budget. We also assess variation in training budgets by organization size and sector, and we look at the change in training expenditures over time. (11 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ERP Choices Expand on the Salesforce.com Platform
October, 2015
The Salesforce.com platform is a popular framework for development of cloud-based business systems. In fact, there are now at least five providers in the AppExchange network that offer some or all of the functionality that would fall under the banner of ERP. This Research Byte provides a new update on these providers, which include FinancialForce, Rootstock, Kenandy, AscentERP, and Sage Live.

Data Management Staffing Ratios
October, 2015
Data management is a mission-critical function that crosses departmental borders and involves business intelligence, data warehousing, and data architecture, among other functions. This category of IT employees, as we define it, has been gradually rising and the number of IT staff members directly involved with data management requires ongoing assessment. In this study, we use four benchmarks to assess data management staffing levels: data management staff as a percentage of the IT staff, data management staff as a percentage of the Application Group, users per data management staff member, and applications per data management staff member. (18 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Business Analyst Staffing Ratios
October, 2015
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. (18 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Data Center Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
October, 2015
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 as to 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 data center outsourcing as a strategy. We also examine the success rates organizations are having reducing cost and improving service through outsourcing this critical function. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (18 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ERP Adoption Trends and Customer Experience
October, 2015
ERP systems have become the platform for integration of data, information, and applications in the well-managed enterprise today. This study helps IT executives understand how aggressively their peers are investing in ERP and the risks and rewards presented by those investments. We report worldwide adoption and investment rates by sector, organization size, and geography. We also measure customer experience in terms of the success rates for return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO). Finally, we identify the functional areas where organizations are planning or considering making new investments in ERP. We wrap up with our recommendations for improving the ROI of ERP installations. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Current Use of IT Contingency Workers
October, 2015
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. (11 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Server Support Staffing Ratios
September, 2015
Server support personnel have been declining as a percentage of the typical IT staff. How many server support staff members does an organization need? To answer that question, we provide four key benchmarks: server support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per server support staff member, physical servers per server support staff member, and OS instances per server support staff member. We provide these metrics for small, midsize, and large organizations. We also assess how industry sector can influence server support staffing ratios. We conclude with recommendations for improving server support productivity. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Project Management Office Adoption Trends
September, 2015
It has become common for organizations to impose some degree of standardization on its project management processes in an effort to increase success rates. In this study, we examine the trend toward adoption of project management offices (PMOs), a best practice that has reached maturity and proved its worth. We present recent adoption 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]

IT Project Management Staffing Ratios
September, 2015
In this study, we examine the question of how many project managers a typical IT organization requires. We present six benchmarks: project managers as a percentage of the IT staff, project managers as a percentage of the Application Group, users per project manager, applications per project manager, application developers per project manager, and capital budget per project manager. All of these ratios are presented by organization size. In addition, we look at the influence of sector on the key ratios. We conclude with recommendations on assessing the performance of the project management function. (22 pp., 11 fig.)
{Research Byte]

Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios
September, 2015
Online sales continue to grow, and investments in cloud architecture, mobile applications, and social networking are placing new demands on web and e-commerce functions. In this study, we provide benchmarks for staffing functions related to web and e-commerce development and operations. We benchmark web staffing with three ratios: web/e-commerce staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per web/e-commerce staff member, and applications per web/e-commerce staff member. Benchmarks are provided by organization size. We also assess the influence of sector on web staffing. (17 pp,.9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Web/E-Commerce Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
September, 2015
The outsourcing of web and e-commerce systems and operations is rising again. Online sales are growing, business is shifting to mobile platforms, and organizations are reluctant to invest in aging data center infrastructure. As such, they are turning to outsourcing partners that can provide the latest expertise and a flexible, scaled approach to Internet infrastructure and systems. To help IT executives better assess their options, this study reports the percentage of organizations outsourcing web/e-commerce operations (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change to the amount of work being outsourced (net growth trend). We also present data on cost and service experience and on how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (8 fig., 14 pp.)
[Research Byte]

IT Management Best Practices 2015/2016
September, 2015
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 30 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. (182 pp., 168 figs.)
[Full Report Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]

ERP Support Staffing Ratios
August, 2015
In this study, we analyze ERP support requirements by means of a simple ratio: the number of ERP users per ERP support staff member. The higher the ratio, the more productive the support personnel appear to be, all other things being equal. We assess this ratio by size of installation and sector. We also report median ratios for Oracle E-Business, SAP ERP, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards systems vs. all others. Finally, we provide recommendations on optimizing staffing levels after assessing the influence of age of installation, number of instances, number of versions, extent of modifications, and scope of functionality. (14 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Disaster Recovery as a Service May Be in Your Future
August, 2015
The ability to recover from scheduled or unscheduled downtime is becoming more affordable due to an increasing number of disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) providers. Over the past 18 months, the number and scope of DRaaS options has grown, and more managed service providers are building out cloud-based disaster recovery service operations with varying costs and capabilities. This report covers the key components of a DRaaS solution, the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based disaster recovery, and key vendors in this growing market. (11 pp., 4 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Database Administration Staffing Ratios
August, 2015
In recent years, database administrators (DBAs) have made up a somewhat steady 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. (12pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Outsourcing Statistics 2015/2016
August, 2015
This major study profiles outsourcing activity for 11 IT functions: application development, application hosting, 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. Finally, we examine the customer experience to assess whether organizations are successfully lowering costs or improving service through outsourcing. (111 pp., 97 fig.)
Full Report Description
[Research Byte]

IT Management and Administration Staffing Ratios
July, 2015
This study examines the question of how many managers a well-run IT organization requires and presents staffing metrics for IT managers as well as two administrative support functions: IT finance/vendor management and clerical support. To benchmark IT management, we use two metrics: IT managers as a percentage of the IT staff and users per IT manager. We provide metrics for small, midsize, and large organizations. To provide further perspective, we consider the five-year trend in IT managers as an average percentage of the IT staff. We also report metrics for IT finance and clerical staff. (17 pp,. 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Quality Assurance and Testing Staffing Ratios
July, 2015
This study provides benchmarks for assessing staffing levels for the quality assurance and testing function in an IT organization. In our overview, we present the trend in quality assurance and testing staffing. We then provide three benchmarks by organization size and by sector: quality assurance staff as a percentage of the IT staff, quality assurance staff as a percentage of the Application Group, and applications per quality assurance staff member. We conclude with recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the quality assurance function within the IT organization. (18 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Beyond Deployment Options: SaaS as a Business Model
July, 2015
With the increasing popularity of software as a service (SaaS), enterprise software vendors today cannot afford to be without a cloud strategy. As a result, traditional vendors have introduced various forms of hosted, hybrid, and SaaS deployment options. The SaaS-only vendors, however, have a business and customer support model that is built around SaaS. This Research Byte discusses the differences in the business models and what SaaS customers should know when making a choice between a traditional vendor with a SaaS offering and a SaaS-only vendor.

IT Security Staffing Ratios
June, 2015
While security is a high priority for most IT organizations, the staffing of this function has remained remarkably steady over time. Strengthening security does not necessarily require expanding the number of professionals dedicated to maintaining data and network security. In this study, we help IT executives assess their security staffing needs by providing four benchmarks: IT security staff as a percentage of the IT staff, IT security staff as a percentage of the Network and Communications  Group, users per IT security staff member, and network devices per IT security staff member. We also assess the influence of organization size and sector on staffing requirements. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IaaS Adoption Trends and Customer Experience
June, 2015
Public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is growing in popularity. It is being used for disaster recovery, system development, testing, and even production systems. This report quantifies the current adoption and investment trends, as well as the benefits driving adoption and the buyer concerns holding it back. We assess adoption and investment trends by organization size, sector, and geography. To assess the economics, we look at the return on investment and total cost of ownership experience of those that have adopted IaaS along with current investment per user. We conclude with practical advice for IT leaders seeking to gain support for IaaS investment. (24 pp., 12 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2015/2016: Full Study
June, 2015
Our 2015/2016 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 25th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. This article allows purchase of all 26 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., 846 figs.)
[Full Study Description and Individual Chapter Pricing]

Technology Trends 2015
March, 2015
This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 14 technology initiatives that are top-of-mind for many companies. The study also delves into the specific types of solutions under consideration and the amount of money being budgeting for these initiatives. With this information business leaders are in a better position to assess the potential risks and rewards of each of these technology initiatives. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments. (100 pp., 98 figs.)
[Full Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]


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Desktop Support Outsourcing Pulls Back from Peak

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