December 4, 2016  
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Database Administration Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience
November, 2016
Outsourcing the database administration (DBA) function usually is undertaken to reduce costs and improve the level of service, although it is not a widely adopted strategy. To help IT executives understand their options, this study examines adoption trends in DBA 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. (15 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Four Essential Steps Toward Outsourcing IT Functions
November, 2016
The maturation of IT outsourcing and the improving economy continue to provide opportunities for organizations of all sizes to leverage outside service providers. The amount of work being outsourced continues to grow, but up-front planning is needed to ensure that the outsourcing experience is positive. In this report, we outline the essential steps needed to establish requirements, select a service provider, and negotiate a deal. (12 pp., 2 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Desktop Support Staffing Ratios
November, 2016
As a percentage of the IT staff, desktop support has dropped during the past two years. This study explores the reasons for the decline and provides benchmarks on typical desktop support staffing. We use two metrics for benchmarking: 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. We conclude with strategies for improving the efficiency of the desktop support staff. (21 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Strategic Planning Adoption and Best Practices
November, 2016
IT strategic planning is essential when the economy is good, as well when we are facing headwinds. A strategic plan is also needed when major programs, such as an overhaul of legacy systems, require a long-term commitment beyond the current budget year. In this study, we describe the fundamental components of IT strategic planning, and assess current adoption trends by organization size and sector. We conclude with areas that should be addressed in the strategic IT road map. (16 pp., 5 figs.)
[Research Byte]

HCM Adoption Trends and Customer Experience
November, 2016
Organizational success depends on people. Therefore, recruiting, developing, and retaining the best people creates a sustainable, competitive advantage, and human capital management (HCM) systems can play an important role in achieving this goal. This report quantifies the current adoption and investment trends for HCM technology as well as the benefits driving companies to expand their HCM implementations. We assess these trends by organization size, sector, and geography. We look at the ROI and TCO experiences of adopters along with current investment levels per employee. We conclude with practical advice for planning new investments in HCM systems. (21 pp., 9 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ERP Adoption Trends and Customer Experience
October, 2016
Enterprise resource planning 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 adoption and investment rates by sector and organization size. We also measure customer experience in terms of the success rates for return on investment and total cost of ownership. 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]

Data Management Staffing Ratios
October, 2016
Data management is a vital function that crosses departmental borders, involving business intelligence, data warehousing, and data architecture, among other functions. This category of IT employees, as we define it, has declined slightly as a percentage of the IT staff for the second year in a row. As such, the data management headcount 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., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

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 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

DBA Outsourcing Not a Widely Embraced Strategy – for Now

Critical Steps to Consider When Outsourcing IT Tasks

Desktop Support as Percentage of IT Staff Declines

Don’t Put Too Much Stock in Android’s Dominant Market Share

IT Strategic Planning Needed Now More Than Ever

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