IS Staffing Outlook More Positive in 2004 for Large Organizations

July, 2003

Over the past two years many large organizations have experienced significant IS staffing cuts, according to Computer Economics’ 2003 Information Systems Spending study. In the annual study, which has been published since 1989, large organizations are defined as having revenues of over $750 million.

In 2001 only 20% of large organizations reported decreases in there IS staffing levels; however, that number rose sharply the following year with 44% of large organizations reporting declines. This year the number of large organizations experiencing declines subsided slightly, with only 41% of the organizations reporting a reduction.

To get an overall perspective on the situation, it is important to compare the IS staffing declines versus the IS staffing increases during the same time period. Since 2001, the percentage of large organizations reporting IS staffing increases has steadily dropped each year–from 32% to only 18%. When the IS staffing declines are measured against increases, the overall decline reached its highest margin this year.

However, there is some good news to report. Based on our research, Computer Economics forecasts that the overall staffing picture in 2004 will be much more positive than it has been over the past two-year period. Although IS staffing declines will still outpace increases, the margin of decline will drop substantially. Figure 1 illustrates the IS staffing trends since 2001, including our projection for 2004.
IS Staffing Comparison in Large Organizations

Large Organizations

(over $750 M in revenue)






No change in IS staff





Decrease in IS staff





Increase in IS staff





Figure 1

July 2003

The 2003 Information System Spending study is now available. This important tool has assisted hundreds of senior IT managers in making critical budget and technology forecasting decisions for almost 15 years. To order your copy, contact us at 1-800-326-8100, ext. 123.