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Statistics on IT departments

By cosburn ·
Does anyone have a stats place to detail out the numbers of staff and resources for IT departments? I am heading into budget season with a short staff, a huge project list and 2005 looking like a whale. I need comparisons and stats to justify.

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No good stats

by JamesRL In reply to Statistics on IT departme ...

The challenge is that you can't really gather meaningful stats because even in the same industry, no two IT departments are alike.

Lets take help desk staff. You might find lots of stats on the number of help desk staff per X00 users. The problem there is that some help desks are merely ticket takers and others try to resolve 80% of the calls at the help desk. Obviously you staff the desk higher for the latter.

I have gone in the past to the gartner group to get some of these numbers, but its a challenging exercise. One of the better numbers is the amount of IT budget as a percentage of revenue. This ranges from a low of 3 % to a high of 9, if I recall correctly. This depends on the industry(software companies spend more than say forestry companies) and if the company puts itself on the leading edge, is very conservative, or is somewhere in the middle(Gartner uses Type A, B and C).

The best approach would be to go in with a well researched plan to resource what you can, and point out the shortfall. Show them the projects that can't get done, and how many staff/labor dollars it would take to accomplish them.


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Try these articles

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to No good stats

How much staff do you need?

Should I hire more people for my support department?

The dangers of asking too much of staff

Assess staff needs with this spreadsheet

The forum software may insert extra spaces into the URLs, so be careful when you copy and paste.

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Fruit salad

by RoydV In reply to Statistics on IT departme ...

James is right... it is difficult to find statistics that allow you to make the kind of 'apples to apples' comparison that you are looking for.

In addition to help desk strategy, consider the other influencing factors within the environment. Standardized desktop hardware versus 'deal of the month' approach, standardized desktop configuration versus custom installed, implementation & use of automated management tools, enterprise packaged applications versus custom developed niche applications, etc...

There is no shortage of statistics. It has been my experience that any statistics that you do find will have been carefully calculated to support a particular perspective (usually a vendor's) and do not include all of the context to allow for an accurate comparison.

In a previous job I had looked at the ratio of IT spending to revenue, but found it to be at such a high level, it only confirmed what I already intuitively knew (as do you) - the organization was running 'lean'.

It is a multi-dimensional problem, with a virtually infinite number of permutations and combinations. Kind of like.... a fruit salad.

Sorry Colin... not much help here. But if it is any consolation, you are not alone.

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by cosburn In reply to Fruit salad

Thanks for the help. In general I find it's really just a ratio of 'how long does a user want to wait vs. my staff count'. That of course usually leads to the users becoming annoyed.

I'm in the process of deploying so many support tools/vendor packages/etc. that I'm dying for another set of people just to keep those running. Kind of funny.


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A web site source for you but be careful

by mike In reply to Statistics on IT departme ...

I get this question a lot from people that read my material. A web site that I found somewhat helpful and has several IT Metrics and Benchmark categories is located at . The sources used to compile the numbers are quality organizations so I find the information worthwhile but not "bullet proof"..

Be careful in simply trying to apply an industry stat to your own company. Every company is different and the stats can be misleading for your specific situation. What's more important is being able to gauge your company's demand for services, quantify your capability and capacity, and manage the gap that probably exists. I recommend to managers that they try to manage to their capacity, and not necessarily to the need. If you can't quantify your capacity and manage to that capability, you will always be trying to catch up with the demand because it's almost always going to greater than what you have. Quantifying your capability and capacity and managing your client's ecpectations to what you can realistically do is the key. I'm a strong believer in managing IT cost as a percent of revenue and have written many articles on the subject, but you can throw it out the window if you don't quantify capacity and manage expectations from what you can do.

I hope this helps.

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Helpful article from Mark Verber

by isapp In reply to Statistics on IT departme ...

I recently had that discussion with my supervisor, and I spent a few nights on the net looking for the same type of documentation you're needing. The best article I found was written by Mark Verber. At the end of the article, he has a table to help you factor in things like supporting servers, etc. in addition to being the help desk.

Hope this helps.

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