May 27, 2016  
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Communications System Support Staffing Ratios
May, 2016
With the changing IT environment, the need for communications system support personnel is in flux, and IT organizations can benefit from a periodic assessment of their staffing levels. This study uses three metrics to make that assessment: communications system support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, percentage of communications system support staff in relation to organization size, and support staff spending per user. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by organization size, and by sector. We also provide a benchmark for the larger Network and Communications Group, which includes other IT functions related to networking. (16 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ERP Support Staffing Ratios
May, 2016
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, sector, maturity of installation, and upgrade frequency. We then compare ratios for Oracle E-Business and SAP ERP systems with the composite ratio for all other systems. Finally, we provide recommendations on optimizing staffing levels. (16 pp., 6 fig.)
[Research Byte]

User-Satisfaction Surveying Adoption and Best Practices
April, 2016
One of an IT organization’s primary goals is to satisfy the needs of its business users for information systems. How can the CIO know whether users are satisfied with IT services? This study examines the extent to which IT organizations have deployed user-satisfaction surveys and measures the level of their engagement. We look at the percentage of organizations that are partially or fully engaged with the practice. We also look at how adoption of this IT management best practice differs by organization size and sector. Finally, we conclude with practical advice on best practices for surveying users. (13 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Application Programmer Staffing Ratios
April, 2016
With the changing IT environment, IT organizations can benefit from a periodic assessment of their application programmer staffing levels. This study uses three metrics to benchmark this function: application programmers as a percentage of the IT staff, users per application programmer, and applications per application programmer. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by organization size, and by sector. We also provide a benchmark for the larger Application Group, which includes all personnel engaged in developing and maintaining applications. (19 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Application Development Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
April, 2016
The frequency of application development outsourcing has been somewhat static over the past few years, and the customer experience poor. Nevertheless, application development remains one of the most common forms of IT outsourcing. This study is designed to help IT executives compare their application development outsourcing strategy with other IT organizations. The study uses three metrics to measure outsourcing activity: it determines how many organizations outsource application development (frequency), how much of the workload is typically outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also measure the cost and service experience of companies that outsource this function, and determine how outsourcing activity and experience vary by organization size and sector. (12 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

The Economic and Strategic Benefits of Cloud Computing
April, 2016
Does SaaS save money? Based on our latest survey, we find organizations that have largely migrated to the cloud spend less on IT as a percentage of revenue and on a per-user basis. Savings come not only from a reduction in data center spending, but also from lower IT personnel costs. Moreover, because cloud-based systems reduce the effort needed for ongoing support, cloud adopters tend to devote a higher percentage of their IT spending to new initiatives. The cost savings, combined with strategic benefits in speed, scalability, and agility, argue in favor of organizations moving aggressively to the cloud. (19 pp., 6 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Vendor Discount Report (April 2016)
April, 2016
Market intelligence on current discounting practices for business equipment can be difficult to 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., 21 figs.).

Application Maintenance Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
March, 2016
Application maintenance and related functions such as application performance management and application life-cycle management consume a significant portion of the IT budget, and IT organizations need to examine their outsourcing strategies in this area. In this study, we report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing application maintenance (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also assess the customer experience by showing how many IT organizations successfully lower costs or improve service by outsourcing application maintenance. (8 Fig., 14 pp.)
[Research Byte]

IT Printer/Printing Expense Benchmarks
March, 2016
The corporate printing market is in a state of reinvention. Printer and printing expenses as a percentage of the IT budget is trending downward and there has been a dramatic decline in the number of printers per user. With the changing environment, IT organizations that have not reassessed their printing strategies over the past five years should do so. This study establishes three benchmarks that enable organizations to assess their print strategies. The benchmarks include printers per user, printer/printing expenses as a percentage of the IT budget, and printer/printing expenses per user. We examine the five-year trend in these benchmarks as well as variances by organization size and sector. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing printer and printing costs. (16pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Network Support Staffing Ratios
March, 2016
This study will help IT managers determine whether their organization is keeping pace with improvements in network management by comparing their network support staffing against industry benchmarks. We provide four benchmarks: network support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, network support staff as a percentage of the Network and Communications Group, network devices per network support staff member, and users per network support staff member. We provide benchmarks by organization size and sector. (18 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ITIL Adoption and Best Practices
March, 2016
This study examines adoption trends for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library  framework for IT management. The study shows large IT organizations are continuing to embrace ITIL initiatives, but at a slower pace than in past years. Moreover, the number of organizations committed to full ITIL implementation remains relatively small. With the emergence of DevOps methodology, ITIL faces another challenge: some IT organizations are shifting their focus to DevOps in an effort to make their organizations more nimble. The two methodologies are not necessarily in competition, however. IT organizations that successfully marry ITIL with DevOps could energize their IT service management initiatives. (14 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Technology Trends 2016
February, 2016
This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 12 technology initiatives that are top-of-mind for many companies. The study also delves into satisfaction of the customer experience and the specific types of solutions under consideration. 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. (95 pp., 86 figs.)
[Full Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]

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]

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]

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]

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 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]

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.
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ERP Vendors Tackle New Revenue Recognition Rules

Communications System Support Staff in Flux

ERP Support Staffing Metrics Range Widely

User Satisfaction Surveying Growth Slow

Application Programmer Jobs Hold Steady

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