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Staffing for web and e-commerce functions appears to be rising again after a long period of stability. The rise is slight and manageable. Still, e-commerce sales continue to grow, and investments in cloud architecture, mobile applications, and social networking are placing new demands on web and e-commerce functions.
As shown in Figure 1 from our study, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios, web staff as a percentage of the total IT staff is an average 3.2%, the same as in 2012. That level is up slightly over the previous three years, during which it remained relatively steady at an average of about 2.7%. This is the highest it has reached since prior to the dot-com bust, when 5% levels were more common.
The data suggests IT organizations are shifting a slightly higher percentage of their human resources toward Internet and e-commerce functions. This could be because they have not reduced staffing in this area as much as other areas or because they are investing in online systems and infrastructure at a slightly higher rate than other areas. The net effect is the same: IT resources are shifting toward this function.
In the full study, we provide benchmarks for staffing functions related to web and e-commerce development and operations. We benchmark web staffing with three ratios: web/e-commerce staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per web/e-commerce staff member, and applications per web/e-commerce staff member. For organizations with less division of labor, we also assess the size of the web support staff as a percentage of all personnel engaged in supporting and developing applications. Finally, we examine the influence of sector and organization size on web staffing.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).
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