Staffing levels for IT quality assurance personnel are changing as the rise of agile development and DevOps embed software testing 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. (21 pp., 7 fig.) [Research Byte]
IT strategic planning is essential when the economy is good, as well when facing headwinds. The strategic road map can help an IT organization look beyond the pressures of quarter-to-quarter performance and stay focused on long-term goals, such as corporate growth and expansion, and guide it through periods of technology change. A strategic plan is also needed when major programs, such as an overhaul of legacy systems, require a long-term commitment beyond the current budget year. In this study, we describe the fundamental components of IT strategic planning, and assess current adoption trends by organization size and sector. We conclude with areas that should be addressed in the strategic IT road map. (17 pp., 6 pg.) [Research Byte]
Customer relationship management systems have become one of the most widely adopted categories of enterprise applications, and investment continues to grow. This report provides an overview of key concepts and vendors in the CRM space. We also examine CRM adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We then look at the return on investment experience, total cost of ownership experience, and which type of applications are the most popular. We conclude with recommendations to ensure CRM implementation success and widespread adoption. (17 pp., 9 fig.) [Research Byte]
Business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff is on an overall upward trend, 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 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. (22 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
In a growing economy, IT organizations face decisions on how best to support increased transaction volumes. Should they upgrade infrastructure, turn to hosting 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. We conclude with five steps for assessing the feasibility of data center outsourcing. (18 pp., 8 fig.) [Research Byte]
IT organizations are growing their use of public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for a variety of purposes, such as disaster recovery, systems development, and, increasingly, for production systems. This report quantifies the current adoption and investment trends for IaaS, as well as the benefits driving adoption and the buyer concerns holding it back. We assess these trends by organization size, sector, and region. We also look at the return on investment and total cost of ownership experience of those who have adopted IaaS and conclude with practical advice for IT leaders seeking to gain support for IaaS investments. (26 pp., 13 fig.) [Research Byte]
When upgrading PCs or laptops, the choice of hard drive is a critical decision. Traditional hard drives (HDD) and newer solid-state drives (SSD) have different characteristics in terms of cost, performance, reliability, and useful life, which should influence the decision. This report provides an overview of the two types of drives and provides criteria for making the right choice.
Data management is a vital function that crosses departmental borders, involving business intelligence, data warehousing, data architecture, and other functions. However, over the past three years, this category of IT workers has plateaued as a percentage of the total 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. (23 pp., 10 fig.) [Research Byte]
Customer satisfaction with desktop support outsourcing appears to be rising, although the use of these services has not. This report examines adoption trends and customer experience with desktop support outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations that outsource (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present success rates for the customer’s cost and service experience, and show how use of these services differs by organization size and sector. We conclude with factors to consider when evaluating options for outsourcing this function. (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 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]
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]
Our 2018/2019 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 29th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. This article allows purchase of all 30 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. (1,749 pp., 1,052 figs.) [Full Study Description and Individual Chapter Pricing]
This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 14 technologies 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 technologies. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments. (101 pp., 102 figs.) [Full Description and Sample Pages] [Research Byte]
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]
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