IT security budgets are rising again this year in the wake of a continuing onslaught of high-profile ransomware attacks. For many IT organizations, this means it may be time to reassess the adequacy of their IT security staffing levels. In this report, we present the five-year trend in IT security staffing and provide benchmarks for understanding IT security staff head count: as a percentage of the IT staff and as a percentage of the Network and Communications Group. We also analyze IT security staffing in terms of the number of applications, the number of users, and the number of network devices. In addition, our analysis includes the influence of organization size and sector on staffing requirements. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing IT security staffing. (22pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
Information technology plays a vital role in the function of nearly all business operations, so it is essential that IT organizations be able to quickly restore services after a disaster or disruption. Many IT organizations (though not as many as in the past) find value in disaster recovery outsourcing, where a service provider is responsible for off-site data storage, recovery data centers, or redundant systems. This report analyzes the percentage of organizations outsourcing disaster recovery capabilities (frequency), the scope of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present success rates for the cost and service experience and show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. We discuss the elements that every disaster recovery plan should contain as well. (19 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
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 (13 pp., 17 figs.).
As enterprises collect more data and connect more applications, they must ensure that data is secure, reliable, and accessible. But despite these increased demands, companies are restraining the growth in their database administration staff. This report helps IT managers determine whether they are keeping pace with industry standards by providing four benchmarks: database administrators (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 and examine the influence of sector on these benchmarks. We conclude with best practices for optimizing DBA staffing. (24 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
Outsourcing of system implementation/integration involves giving a systems integrator responsibility for implementing new systems, which often involves integration of those systems with other new or existing systems. This study examines adoption trends in the outsourcing of system implementation/integration. We report on the percentage of organizations outsourcing this function (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (net growth trend and volatility). We also present the cost- and service-success ratings, which provide insight into the potential risks and rewards IT organizations take in turning to outside systems integrators. (17 pp., 8 fig.) [Research Byte]
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 34 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 application development practices. (197 pp., 178 figs.) [Full Report Description and Sample Pages] [Research Byte]
As the application portfolio of an enterprise grows, the ongoing support for those systems can become a burden on the IT organization, leaving little time for developing and implementing new applications. In response, some organizations see outsourcing application management as an attractive option, although the number of organizations doing so has been steadily declining. In this report, we analyze the percentage of organizations outsourcing application management (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 management. We conclude with recommendations for an application management outsourcing strategy. (18 pp, 8 fig.) [Research Byte]
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not only one of the most adopted technologies we track, but investment in them also remains strong. 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. We identify the functional areas where organizations are planning or considering making new investments in ERP. We also examine where ERP systems are deployed as well as their typical age and length of time between version upgrades. We wrap up with recommendations for improving the ROI of ERP. (22 pp., 13 figs.) [Research Byte]
Human capital management (HCM) systems are becoming increasingly essential as business leaders recognize that success depends on recruiting and retaining the best people. But while the adoption rate for HCM systems is high, there are challenges in deploying them. 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 as well as the ROI and TCO experiences of adopters. We conclude with practical advice for planning new investments in HCM systems. (18 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
When it comes to IT managers, it is important to find the sweet spot. Too many, and the IT group can become top-heavy and bureaucratic, while too few can leave IT staff members feeling unsupported and without direction. This report examines how many IT managers a well-run IT organization typically requires, along with staffing metrics for two related administrative 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. (22 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
IT organizations often find it difficult to track all of the information about IT assets, such as hardware and software licenses, along with critical data such as location, configuration, and renewal dates. In response, companies have worked to set up IT asset management and configuration management systems, and processes to bring IT assets into a common management framework. In this report, we describe why IT asset management is an important process and the challenges it faces. We next study IT asset management system adoption and practice levels, examining those by organization size and sector. We conclude with best-practice suggestions for successful asset management and how to make the practice more effective. (15 pp., 6 fig.) [Research Byte]
One of the most talked-about technologies in recent years is the Internet of Things (IoT). Promising benefits such as lower labor costs, better tracking of assets, improved business processes, efficient energy management, increased competitive advantage and more, IoT seems like a no-brainer technology. Yet, adoption among corporate IT organizations appears to have stalled this year. This report provides an overview of IoT adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have solutions in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We also look at the return on investment and total cost of ownership experience and considered or planned uses for new IoT investment. We conclude with important principles to apply in planning and implementing IoT systems. (20 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
This major study profiles outsourcing activity for 11 IT functions: application development, application management, data center operations, database administration, desktop support, disaster recovery services, help desk services, IT security, network operations, system implementation/integration 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. (115 pp., 97 fig.) Full Report Description [Research Byte]
A lot can change in three decades. We asked the survey respondents of the Computer Economics IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study, now in its 30th year, what technologies they felt had the largest impact on the IT organization since we began our study in 1989. This report details the results of that survey and the 12 technologies that we felt had the biggest impact over the past thirty years.
Periodic surveys of user satisfaction are one way to measure how well an IT organization is delivering services, resolving issues, and managing perceptions. If user satisfaction is falling, it may mean that the service desk is understaffed or change requests are not being accommodated. At the same time, collecting data on service levels can be useful for tracking and monitoring performance in a service organization. But taking the next step and publishing the performance metrics for the community can be even more useful. In this report, we look at the maturity of surveying user satisfaction and publishing IT performance metrics. We assess current adoption trends by organization size and sector. We conclude with practical advice on best practices for surveying users and publishing performance metrics. (22 pp., 12 fig.) [Research Byte]
Our 2019/2020 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 30th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. From within this article, you can purchase all 31 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. (1,811 pp., 1,057 figs.) [Full Study Description and Individual Chapter Pricing]
Software as a service (SaaS) has now become the standard choice for most new software deployments, and in many categories already has surpassed on-premises software in terms of new sales. This report quantifies the current investment trends for SaaS and identifies the benefits driving companies to expand their SaaS implementations. It also identifies which of a wide variety of SaaS applications are driving adoption and assesses adoption and investment trends by organization size. Finally, we examine the positive ROI and TCO experience of adopters and conclude with practical advice for those considering deployment of SaaS solutions. (21 pp., 11 fig.) [Research Byte]
For many IT organizations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are at the center of the application portfolio. In this report, we analyze ERP support requirements in several ways. First, we look at the ERP support staffing ratio, which is the number of ERP users divided by the number of ERP support personnel. We then assess this ratio by the size of the ERP installation. We also examine the data to determine the ratios by vendor: SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards, Microsoft, Infor, and “all other” ERP systems. We examine the ratio by sector, age of installation, years since last upgrade, extent of modification, and type of deployment (on-premises, cloud, or hosted) as well. Finally, we provide recommendations on optimizing ERP staffing levels. (19 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
Robotic process automation is the use of software “robots” to automate processes that are normally performed by clerical or administrative users, typically using multiple business applications. Nearly one quarter (24%) of large organizations are already dabbling in some form of robotic process automation (RPA), and investment in RPA shows that growth should continue. This report provides an overview of RPA adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have solutions in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We also look at the return on investment experience, total cost of ownership experience, and considered or planned uses for new RPA investments. We conclude with important principles to apply in planning and implementing RPA solutions. (19 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 15 technologies that are top-of-mind for IT leaders. 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 technologies. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments. Forward looking, we also explore 18 future and early adopter technologies along with level of awareness and adoption (141 pp., 113 figs.) [Full Description and Sample Pages] [Research Byte]
IT leaders all over the world have a positive outlook for the global economy, but despite that confidence, IT budgets are growing only modestly. Our Worldwide IT Spending and Staffing Outlook for 2019 provides data on the global and U.S./Canadian trends for IT spending and staffing in the coming year. This year, our report assesses IT operational and capital spending plans for 2019, organizational priorities for IT spending and investment, and plans for hiring, outsourcing, and pay raises for IT organizations worldwide and in the U.S. and Canada. (35 pp., 24 figs.) [Research Byte]
The Computer Economics IT Salary Report 2019 provides total compensation for 75 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 2019 and includes job descriptions for each job function. 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. (35 pp., 8 figs., plus salary tables) [Research Byte] [Full Description and Free Executive Summary]
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