October 31, 2014  
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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]

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]

Application Programmer Staffing Ratios
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 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]

Business Analyst Staffing Ratios 2013
The business analyst serves as a bridge between the IT organization and the users it 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., 8 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]

Desktop Support Staffing Ratios 2013
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. (18 pp., 8 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Data Management Staffing Ratios 2013
Data management is a mission-critical function that crosses departmental borders and involves business intelligence, data warehousing, and data security, among other functions. This category of IT employees, as we define it, has been rising steadily over the past four years and now accounts for 3.6% of the IT staff on average. As such, the number of IT staff members directly involved with business intelligence reporting, data warehouse applications, and data architecture requires ongoing assessment. In this study, we use three 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., 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. (17 pp., 8 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]

IT Help Desk Management Series
In this special publication, we bundle three of our most popular reports that deal with various aspects of help desk (service desk) management. Reports cover help desk staffing ratios, help desk outsourcing trends, and help desk salaries. The price of this special bundle is discounted 50% from the cost of these six reports if purchased separately.
[Full Report Description]

Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Staffing Ratios
For businesses today, properly scaling business intelligence applications while controlling support costs is a difficult challenge. This study provides benchmarks for staffing the data warehouse (DW) and business intelligence (BI) functions. We provide the ratio of DW/BI staff to total IT staff for the composite sample and by organization size and sector. We also present two other metrics for benchmarking this function: applications per DW/BI staff member and terabytes of storage per DW/BI staff member.(19 pp., 11 figs.)
[Research Byte]

IT Help Desk Outsourcing Trend and Customer Experience
Companies can dramatically reduce costs through outsourcing the help desk function, but caution is advised. Service levels can decline as well. In this study, we measure help desk outsourcing activity in four ways: outsourcing frequency, outsourcing amount, outsourcing cost experience, and outsourcing service experience. The study also examines the rate at which organizations use offshore service providers and the amount of work typically offshored. Finally, the report examines the five-year trend in help desk outsourcing frequency and amount to determine whether the outsourcing of this function is growing or shrinking. (20 pp., 14 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]

Documentation and Training Staffing Ratios
Documentation and training is a small but important function in the IT organization. In this study, we examine how staffing levels for this function have changed over the past decade. We also provide current metrics for this job function by organizational size, which IT managers can use to benchmark their employee headcount levels. Metrics include documentation/training specialists as a percentage of total IT staff, number of users per specialist, and number of developers per specialist. We conclude with our recommendations for optimizing staffing levels and productivity of IT documentation and IT training personnel. (4 pp., 5 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]

Current Trends in Telecommuting Among IT Workers
Telecommuting is a growing practice across most industries. In this study, based on a special survey of IT managers, we first assess the extent of telecommuting within IT organizations today. We examine adoption levels by stages to gauge the future trend, the year-over-year growth, and the percentage of IT workers telecommuting at various frequencies. Next, we assess how IT managers rate the importance of telecommuting for recruitment and retention and their views of the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting. Finally, we compare turnover rates of organizations that have strong telecommuting policies with those that do not. We conclude with recommendations for telecommuting policies, based on these findings. (7 pp., 10 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]

Planning for the Coming Wave of IT Staff Retirements
As the baby-boomer generation ages, a growing number of senior IT professionals are nearing retirement, and many organizations have not fully prepared for the loss of so many leaders and experienced technical staff members. Furthermore, as younger IT staff replace older workers, the demographics within the typical IT shop are changing, leading to a number of "generational issues" (differences between generations in their skills, culture, and experience) that will need to be addressed. This special report, based on our survey of over 150 organizations, documents the extent of these problems by size of organization, highlights the various strategies that IT groups are taking to deal with them, and provides practical recommendations for IT executives to prepare for the coming generational transition of the IT workforce. (13 pp., 20 figs.)
[Research Byte]

Managing Challenges in IT Staffing
Recruiting and retaining IT talent is a key success factor for any IT organization. This special study investigates current trends and challenges that IT managers are facing in recruiting and staffing, based on a survey of approximately 160 U.S. IT hiring managers. Statistics include IT staff growth rates, use of contractors and temporary employees, growth of outsourcing and offshoring, turnover rates, trends in recruiting difficulty, adequacy of the candidate supply, ability to offer competitive compensation, attractiveness to candidates of four major U.S. regions and 14 industry sectors, manager satisfaction with recruiting methods, use of outside recruiters, and the relative difficulty of recruiting for eight IT positions. (10 pp., 16 figs.)
[Research Byte]

IT Recruiting: Which Ways Work Best Today?
The effectiveness of various IT recruiting methods varies according to the job market. This article provides an analysis of the current IT labor market and why IT hiring is becoming more difficult. Based on our survey of nearly 200 senior IT executives, it then presents a detailed analysis of nine recruiting methods in terms of their popularity among employers, their overall effectiveness, and their ability to produce the greatest numbers of new hires. The nine methods are: recruiting firms, in-house recruiters, online job boards, employee referral programs, corporate websites, print ads, internships, job fairs/events, and outplacement services. The analysis highlights the differences between small, medium, and large firms and finds that the methods that are most popular are not necessarily the ones that are most effective or able to generate the most new hires. (9 pp., 4 figs.)
[Research Byte]


 

 

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