January 16, 2018  
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IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2017/2018 now available! IT budget, IT spending, IT metrics, benchmarks, and more.

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Security Compliance Audit Adoption and Best Practices

January, 2018
Too many companies are failing when it comes to following best practices to prevent security incidents. An IT security compliance audit is one such best practice. Although many organizations do audit security compliance, not enough of them are doing so formally and consistently. In this report, we first look at adoption trends for IT security compliance audits by organization size and sector. We also discuss the steps an IT organization should take to implement such audits. Finally, we provide recommendations for monitoring the success of security audits. (16 pp. 6 figs.)
[Research Byte]

IT Salary Report 2018

January, 2018
The Computer Economics IT Salary Report 2018 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 2018 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. (33 pp., 7 figs., plus salary tables)
[Research Byte]
[Full Description and Free Executive Summary]

Vendor Discount Report (Jan. 2018)

January, 2018
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, 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 (14 pp., 21 figs.).

IT Quality Assurance Staffing Ratios

December, 2017
Staffing levels for IT quality assurance personnel are changing as software testing is increasingly embedded within the application development and maintenance role. In this study, we first evaluate recent changes in IT QA staffing levels. We then provide three benchmarks by organization size and by sector: QA staff as a percentage of the IT staff, QA staff as a percentage of the Application Group, and applications per QA staff member. We conclude with recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the QA function within the IT organization. (20 pp., 7 figs)
[Research Byte]

Business Analyst Staffing Ratios

December, 2017
Business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff has risen for the fourth year in a row, and we expect that trend to continue. The business analyst serves as a bridge between the IT organization and business users. It is a multifaceted function that is important for ensuring that IT application systems meet 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 analyst. (21 pp., 10 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Steering Committee Adoption and Best Practices

November, 2017
Aligning IT with business priorities has never been more important. Because of its cross-functional nature, IT decisions should not be left solely to the discretion of the IT department and should be made in partnership with business leaders. The means to do that is the IT steering committee, a best practice for IT governance. In this study, we look at adoption trends for IT steering committees by organization size and sector. We also discuss the elements that every IT steering committee policy should contain, and steps IT organizations should take before establishing one. (15 pp., 6 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Change Control Board Adoption and Best Practices

November, 2017
The pace of change in IT organizations is increasing as new technology allows fast provisioning and implementation of new applications and infrastructure, and the economic benefits of reducing legacy systems become increasing clear. IT departments need to communicate with users and leaders to better prioritize and control these changes. In this study, we look at adoption trends for IT change control boards by organization size and sector. We also discuss the elements that every IT change control board policy should contain, and steps IT organizations should take before establishing an IT change control board. (15 pp., 6 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Desktop Support Staffing Ratios

November, 2017
Although desktop support personnel as a percentage of the total IT staff hit a five-year peak this year, we expect this staffing level to decline in the near future. In this study, we use four metrics for benchmarking: desktop support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, PCs per desktop support staff member, applications per support staff member, and users per support staff member. We also assess these ratios by organization size and sector. We conclude with strategies for improving the efficiency of the desktop support staff. (23 pp., 11 fig.)
[Research Byte]

Data Management Staffing Ratios

November, 2017
Data management is a vital function that crosses departmental borders, involving business intelligence, data warehousing, data architecture, and other functions. However, over the past two years, this category of IT workers has plateaued as a percentage of the IT staff. As such, the data management headcount 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. (22 pp., 10 fig.)
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Data Center Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience

October, 2017
Data center outsourcing remained relatively stable over the course of the recession, but now appears to be rising. As business growth resumes, IT organizations face decisions on how best to support that increased growth, including whether to upgrade infrastructure, turn to hosting service providers, or move some computing resources to the cloud. In this study, we provide IT executives with insight into how broadly and eagerly their peers are undertaking outsourcing as a data center strategy. We also examine the success rates that organizations are having with reducing cost and improving service through outsourcing the critical data center function. Finally, we show how these trends differ by organization size and sector. (18 pp., 8 fig.)
[Research Byte]

IT Management Best Practices 2017/2018

September, 2017
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 32 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 software development practices. (186 pp., 168 figs.)
[Full Report Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]

IT Outsourcing Statistics 2017/2018

August, 2017
This major study profiles outsourcing activity for 10 IT functions: application development, application maintenance, data center operations, database administration, desktop support, disaster recovery services, help desk services, IT security, network operations, 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. (105 pp., 89 fig.)
Full Report Description
[Research Byte]

IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks 2017/2018: Full Study

June, 2017
Our 2017/2018 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 28th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. This article allows purchase of all 28 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. (1,588 pp., 1,004 figs.)
[Full Study Description and Individual Chapter Pricing]

Technology Trends 2017

February, 2017
This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 12 technology initiatives that are top-of-mind for many companies. 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 technology initiatives. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments. (97 pp., 86 figs.)
[Full Description and Sample Pages]
[Research Byte]


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Free Research Bytes

Companies Need to Wake Up and Smell the Compliance

IT Workers Will Average 3.0% Pay Raise in 2018

Quality Assurance Increasingly Part of Other IT Staff Positions

IT Security Tops List of Jobs Toughest to Fill, Survey Says

Business Analyst Role Continues to Grow

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