ERP Support Staffing Influenced by More Than User Count

November, 2011

For many IT organizations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems form a large part of the application portfolio. Therefore, understanding the support requirements of these systems is important for managing overall staffing levels within IT.

Figure 1 shows the typical range of ERP support staffing ratios for installations of all sizes as determined in our study, ERP Support Staffing Ratios. At the median, there are 35 users per ERP support staff member, rising to 72 users per ERP staff member at the 75th percentile. But at the 25th percentile, each ERP staff member supports just 17 users.

ERP Support Fig 1 - ERP Support Staffing Influenced by More Than User Count

These statistics show that there is a wide range of values for the ERP support staffing ratio. At the 75th percentile there are more than four times as many users supported by each ERP support staff member than at the 25th percentile. Given this data, it is evident that other factors influence the level of ERP support staffing.

To better understand the level of IT staffing required to support an ERP system, Computer Economics first conducted a special survey of 109 ERP user organizations in 2008 and then again of another 108 organizations in late 2010. From each respondent, we gathered detailed information such as the number of users supported, the number of support personnel, vendor, system installed, and age of the implementation. As the basic statistical results did not change much between 2008 and 2011, we chose to combine the responses from the two surveys, giving a larger statistical sample of 217 respondents.

The results, presented in the full report, provide typical ERP support staffing levels normalized by the number of users. We provide benchmarks by size of installation, software vendor, and age of installation. We also provide a breakdown of ERP support staff by job function. Based on this analysis, we conclude with recommendations for optimizing ERP staffing levels to better manage costs and improve user satisfaction.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, ERP Support 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).

Do you also need staffing ratios for other IT job functions? Consider this collection of all of our staffing ratio reports, which bundles them all into a single report at a significant discount: IT Staffing Ratios–Special Report Bundle.