Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software “robots” to automate processes that are normally performed by clerical or administrative users. It is gaining popularity, because it makes workers more productive, allowing them to spend more time on value-added tasks. 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 (ROI) experience, total cost of ownership (TCO) 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., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
IT security has become a major focus for IT leaders in 2021. This is because the threat landscape is evolving, as seen most recently in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. This report helps 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 recommendations. (18 pp., 8 fig.) [Research Byte]
In periods of rapid change, the role of the IT project manager is critical. It is no surprise, then, that project managers as a percentage of the total IT staff has been steadily increasing. In this study, we assess how many project managers a typical IT organization requires. We present five benchmarks: project managers as a percentage of the IT staff, project managers as a percentage of the application group, users per project manager, applications per project manager, and application programmers per project manager. Our analysis also includes the influence of organization size and industry sector. We conclude with recommendations on assessing the performance of the project management function. (25 pp., 11 fig.) [Research Byte]
Security training is a business best practice that involves the training of all IT and user personnel in a company’s security policies, procedures, and best practices to increase awareness and ensure compliance. It is a highly advisable practice for every organization. Many companies report the existence of security training, yet there is ample room for improvement. This report begins by defining security training and summarizing the main types of training available. We next study the adoption and practice levels and examine those by organization size and sector. We conclude with best-practice recommendations. (16 pp., 6 fig.) [Research Byte]
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. The Vendor Discounts 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. (11 pp., 10 fig.).
The decision to turn over an IT organization’s help desk function to a service provider has a long and varied history. It is one of the services that helped establish the contemporary IT outsourcing industry. Even so, our research shows that help desk outsourcing is not as pervasive as one might think. In this report, we analyze the percentage of organizations outsourcing help desk (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present data on cost and service experience and on how these trends differ by organization size and sector. We conclude with some key questions to consider. (17 pp., 8 fig.) [Research Byte]
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a maturing technology, and for many years it has promised benefits such as lower labor costs and better tracking of assets. But investments in IoT projects are down. This report provides an overview of IoT adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are in the process of implementation, 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 IoT investment. We conclude with important principles to apply in planning and implementing IoT systems. (19 pp., 9 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 worldwide. The study also delves into the satisfaction level 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. Looking forward, we also explore 18 future and early adopter technologies (138 pp., 111 figs.). [Full Description and Sample Pages] [Research Byte]
Despite the chaos of 2020, the outlook for 2021 is surprisingly positive. IT organizations are expecting budget growth and to consolidate the changes made in the past turbulent year. This report, based on our Q4 2020 survey, provides worldwide trends for IT spending and staffing in 2021. This year, our report assesses IT operational and capital spending plans, executive priorities for IT investment, and plans for hiring and outsourcing for IT organizations worldwide. (21 pp., 11 fig.) [Research Byte]
The way that enterprise applications are internally developed and maintained has changed. With these changes, the need for application developers is in flux, and IT organizations can benefit from a periodic assessment of their staffing levels. This report uses three metrics to make that assessment: developers as a percentage of the IT staff, users per developer, and applications per developer. 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, data management, and business systems analysis. (23 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
Encryption is a best practice for protecting sensitive or confidential information, both in storage and in transit. Data encryption software and algorithms translate data into another form, or code, so that only someone with access to a secret key—a decryption key—can read it. It has a high maturity rating, but there is ample room for improvement. This report begins with a definition of encryption. We next study the adoption and practice levels and examine those by organization size and sector. We conclude with best-practice recommendations. (16 pp., 6 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. 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. (20 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
Corporate communications systems have become more complex, although the number of IT specialists who support these systems has stabilized in the past few years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, IT organizations can benefit from a periodic assessment of their communications system support staffing levels. This study uses three metrics to make that assessment: support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, percentage of support staff in relation to organization size, and support staff spending per user. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by organization size, and by sector. We conclude with recommendations for optimizing the productivity of communications system support personnel.
(20 pp., 7 fig.) [Research Byte]
The Computer Economics IT Salary Report 2021 provides total compensation for 80 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 2021 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. (36 pp., 7 figs., plus salary tables.) [Research Byte] [Full Description and Free Executive Summary]
This report is a companion study to our annual IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study, which provides a full set of IT budgetary benchmarks and IT staffing metrics by industry sector and organizational size. This companion study for Europe should be used in conjunction with our full study to provide insight into how high-level spending and staffing benchmarks differ for European organizations. [Full Study Description]
COVID-19 has prompted enterprises to accelerate adoption of Human Capital Management (HCM) suites, upping the deployment rate. The pandemic has forced enterprises to seek low-and no-touch solutions for HR operations. Consequently, organizations are accelerating their digitization and automation of manual HR processes. This has led to a 1.5X surge in the number of active discussions between buyers and HCM suite vendors. Workforce management, compensation, learning and development, recruitment, and employee engagement have emerged as the most sought-after functions for leverage of HCM suites. These and other trends are explored in Avasant’s new Human Capital Management Suites 2020 RadarView™ report. (42 pp.) [Research Byte]
In 2020, the global pandemic exposed many governmental organizations in their limited availability of digital communication channels. In fact, prior to March 2020, 43% of UN member states did not have any organized digital media strategy. Many home-bound citizens relied on governments to provide them with relevant information and to deal with pressing issues around healthcare, unemployment, and economic stability. In the face of that, many governments started using a plethora of tools such as online portals, apps, social media platforms, and chatbots to reach out to residents. To support such initiatives, it is crucial that government agencies invest in modernizing their IT infrastructure for migrating workloads, automating processes, and making decisions based on data. (79 pp.) [Research Byte]
The robotic process automation industry has shifted toward hyperautomation, which leverages AI, ML, and NLP to enable end-to-end automation. Tool vendors have evolved their solutions into enterprise-class suites covering the entire automation lifecycle by bundling process discovery, workflow orchestration, prediction and recommendation, document processing, analytics, and unified dashboards. Software vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle have also entered the AI-led automation marketplace by embedding automation in their™ applications and platforms, organically or inorganically. (51 pp.) [Research Byte]
IT security staffing has finally increased to match increases in IT spending. 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, users, and 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. (21 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
October, 2020 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. (196 pp., 178 figs.) [Full Report Description and Sample Pages] [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. (113 pp., 97 fig.) Full Report Description [Research Byte]
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