IT Management Headcount Falls to Normal

February, 2011

Over the long term, there is evidence that IT management has been increasing in size as IT organizations become more service-oriented, professional, and reliant on outside service providers. However, this study shows that as a percentage of the IT staff, IT management group grew slightly during the recession but then returned to its previous level.

Our study on IT Management and Administration Staffing Ratios shows that the average ratio of IT management positions to total IT staff  was 11.0% in 2010, compared to 10.9% in 2007 (Figure 1). The rise to 12.0% in 2009 may reflect the heightened level of IT staff layoffs in that year, creating a temporary imbalance. The year-to-year variations are otherwise not significant, however, and the ratio of managers to IT staff remained mostly stable over the four-year period.

Manager Fig1 - IT Management Headcount Falls to Normal

An adequate IT management structure is essential for the long-term survival of a business if it wants to rein in chaotic IT infrastructure while embracing innovation. Today’s professional IT managers not only enforce rules and procedures required for a process-oriented IT production environment, but also advise the business on investing in IT initiatives that carry the potential for spurring growth as well as for disrupting well-honed processes.

The full study examines the question of how many managers a well-run IT organization requires and presents staffing metrics for IT managers as well as two administrative support functions: IT finance and vendor management, and clerical support.

To benchmark IT management, we report IT managers as a percentage of the IT staff and the number of users per IT manager. We provide metrics for small, midsize, and large organizations. We also report metrics for IT finance (including vendor management and procurement) staff and for clerical staff.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, IT Management and Administration 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.