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 maintenance, 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]
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.).
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]
Enterprises are investing in their bread-and-butter core systems at a strong rate, but one type of solution leads the pack this year: business and data analytics. These solutions are the highest-priority technology investment for IT organizations. This report examines adoption and investment trends for business and data analytics of all types, providing insight into how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are implementing it, and how many are expanding investments in new capabilities. To give additional insight, we look at the ROI and TCO experience of those that have adopted the technology. Finally, we recommend steps for a successful implementation. (18 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
One of the great challenges facing traditional ERP vendors is getting customers to keep up with the latest version. Cloud ERP systems are supposed to solve this problem, by making the vendor responsible for upgrades and keeping all customers on a single version. However, sometimes, even SaaS providers need to make changes that are so significant and potentially disruptive that customers resist the change. This Research Byte describes how one such cloud ERP provider is meeting this challenge.
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]
In enterprise technology, digital transformation is a hot topic. But what does it really mean? This Research Byte provides a simple definition of digital transformation, breaks down the main types of digital transformation, and recommends an approach for developing a digital transformation strategy.
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]
IT security is a critical area for IT managers, who face increasingly varied threats. The response to these threats has been to bring in some help: 45% of IT organizations are increasing the amount of IT security work that they turn over to service providers. In light of the new realities, this report is designed to help IT executives compare their outsourcing activity and experience with other IT organizations. We use three metrics to measure IT security outsourcing activity: how many organizations outsource IT security (frequency), how much of the workload is typically outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work outsourced (trend). We also measure the cost and service experience of organizations that outsource this function, and determine how outsourcing activity and experience vary by organization size and sector. We conclude with ways to capitalize on the evolving trends in IT security outsourcing. (17 pp., 8 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]
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 35 IT management practices which we have grouped into six major categories: IT governance practices, IT financial management practices, IT operational management practices, IT security and risk management practices, application development practices, and innovation best practices. (207 pp., 184 figs.) [Full Report Description and Sample Pages] [Research Byte]
For additional reports, browse the Research Sections, or use the Search function.