May 22, 2015  
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Staffing Ratios and Trends

Personnel costs typically represent the largest single budget line item in the IT organization. Therefore, effective IT management requires effective personnel management. Our research in this section includes IT staffing ratios and metrics that are useful in evaluating IT headcount levels, justifying increases in IT staff, improving recruiting and retention processes, and managing IT employee relations.

The following is a list of recent sample articles within this section. (Note also that extensive analysis of IT staffing metrics is also provided in our annual IT Spending and Staffing study).


IT Staffing Ratios: Benchmarking Metrics and Analysis for 14 Key IT Job Functions
This special publication bundles the entire collection of our reports on IT staffing ratios. The IT functions covered include IT management, project management, help desk, desktop support, business analysts, server support, network administration, applications development, ERP support, database administration, data warehouse/business intelligence, IT quality assurance, IT security, and web/e-commerce. This special collection is a valuable source of information for IT executives interested in benchmarking their staffing levels with those of similar organizations. (235 pp., 102 figs.) 
[Full Report Description and Free Sample]

Application Programmer Staffing Ratios
With the changing IT environment, the need for application programmers is in flux, and IT organizations can benefit from periodic assessment of their staffing levels. This study uses three metrics to make that assessment: programmers as a percentage of the IT staff, users per programmer, and applications per 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 personnel engaged in web development and support, quality assurance and testing, data management, and business systems analysis. (17 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Network Support Staffing Ratios
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 for the composite sample and by organization size. (11pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Desktop Support Staffing Ratios
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. (17 pp., 7 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Help Desk Staffing Ratios
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: 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. (16 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Bytes]

Data Management Staffing Ratios
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 has been rising. As such, 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. (16 pp., 10 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Business Analyst Staffing Ratios
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. (17 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Current Use of IT Contingency Workers
As a percentage of the IT staff, the use of contingency workers has been falling back to more normal levels, thanks to the maturing recovery and greater willingness to bring on regular full-time employees. 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 post-recession period. This study helps IT decision-makers understand how organizations are balancing the use of contingency workers with full-time employees in the current environment.(13 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Server Support Staffing Ratios
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. (16pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios
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. (13 pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Project Management Staffing Ratios
In this study, we examine how many project managers a typical IT organization requires. We present five benchmarks: project managers as a percentage of the IT staff, users per project manager, application developers per project manager, applications 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 project management staffing. We conclude with recommendations on assessing the performance of the project management function. (16 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Database Administration Staffing Ratios
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 five-year trend in DBA staffing.  (18 pp., 7 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Management Staffing Ratios
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. (16 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

ERP Support Staffing Ratios
In this study, we analyze ERP support requirements by means of a simple ratio: the number of ERP users per ERP support staff member. We call this the ERP support staffing ratio. 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, and JD Edwards systems. 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.  (13pp., 5 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Network Support Staffing Ratios
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 infrastructure group, network devices per network support staff member, and users per network support staff member. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by sector, and by organization size. (16 pp., 7 fig.)
[Reseach Byte]

IT Quality Assurance and Testing Staffing Ratios
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 six-year trend in quality assurance and testing staffing. We then provide three benchmarks by organization size: quality assurance staff as a percentage of the IT staff, quality assurance staff as a percentage of the application group, and users per quality assurance staff member. We conclude with recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the quality assurance function within the IT organization. (16pp., 6 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Security Staffing Ratios
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 an 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 IT staff, IT security staff as a percentage of the network support 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. (16 pp., 7 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Benchmarks for IT Training Budgets
IT organizations slashed training budgets during the recession, and they have yet to recover. At some point, best-in-class IT organizations will begin to adopt new technologies that require the recruitment and retention of workers with new skill sets. Training budgets will revive. This study provides IT organizations with benchmarks for setting optimal training budgets for their organizations. 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 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Application Development and Maintenance Staffing Ratios
With the changing environment, the need for programmers is in flux and IT organizations can benefit from periodic assessment of their application development and maintenance staffing levels. What is the typical staffing level today? This study uses three metrics to make that assessment: application development and maintenance staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per application development and maintenance staff member, and applications per application development and maintenance staff member. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by organization, and by sector. We also provide benchmarks for the larger Application Group, which includes web development and support, quality assurance and testing, and data management personnel and business systems analysts. (19 pp., 7 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Measuring Help-Desk Efficiency
As a labor-intensive function, the IT help desk (or service desk) is generally high on management’s list of areas targeted for productivity gains. But, as it is often said, if you cannot measure something you cannot improve it. To meet the needs of managers seeking to better handle this critical function, this study examines the most common metrics used for tracking help-desk efficiency, costs, and productivity. It also assesses the role of technology, service-level agreements, outsourcing, and IT service management best practices in improving the return on investment for the service desk. (14 pp., 6 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Pay for Performance: Popularity and Impact of Incentive Pay in the IT Workforce
The incentive pay debate is intense and has strong advocates on both sides. In this study, we analyze the current trend within the IT industry based on a Computer Economics survey conducted during the first half of 2008. We provide data on the percentage of employees receiving incentive pay by job level, the percentage of compensation comprising incentive pay, the percentage of incentive bonuses based on individual, group, and company performance, and the impact of incentive pay on employee turnover rates. Our study concludes with recommendations for implementing effective programs and mitigating some of the unintended consequences of paying for performance. (5 pp., 6 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Factors Influencing IT Employee Turnover Rates
Because it is generally less expensive to retain good employees than find new ones, lowering turnover rates is a good strategy for reducing IT personnel expenses. In this study, we examine current trends in turnover rates and provide benchmarks for turnover by organization size. We then examine 11 factors commonly believed to influence employee retention, specifically: education and training opportunities, flexible schedules, work environment, social environment, incentive pay/bonuses, base salaries, insurance benefits, employee recognition programs, paid time off, retirement programs, and telecommuting opportunities. We assess how IT executives rank the importance of these factors, and we measure the impact of each factor on actual turnover rates. We conclude with recommendations on how organizations can most cost-effectively reduce turnover. (7 pp., 9 figs.)
[Research Byte]

 


 

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