Network Staffing Levels Hold Steady Despite Increasing Demands

December, 2009

In this digital age, the importance of computer networks is growing. Yet remarkably, as a percentage of the IT staff, the size of the network support staff has remained relatively constant over the past four years and even over the past decade.

The increasing bandwidth demanded by network-hungry applications, the Internet, and the convergence of voice and data networks has not affected the basic ratio of network support staff to total IT staff in the typical organization. Rather, as with other infrastructure support functions, the trend data suggests better technology, automation tools, and outsourcing options are enabling IT organizations to do more without increasing the number of network support staff on a percentage basis.

This Research Byte is a brief excerpt from our full report, Network Support Staffing Ratios.

Figure 1, based on our annual survey of more than 200 IT organizations each year, shows this ratio at the median for the composite sample wavering from about 7% to 8% of the typical IT staff. This basic ratio enables us to track network staffing levels over time.

1 Network Fig1 - Network Staffing Levels Hold Steady Despite Increasing Demands

The full version of this report will help IT managers determine whether their organizations are keeping pace with improvements in network management by comparing their network support staffing against industry benchmarks. We provide three basic metrics: network support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, the number of personal computers (PCs) per network support staff member, and number of network devices per network support staff member. We provide benchmarks for the composite sample, by sector, and by organization size. We also adjust for the impact of outsourcing and examine the influence of network complexity on support staffing.

Common-sense approaches will assist the IT organization in operating networks with support ratios at or above those of similar-size organizations. Users will receive improved service and customer satisfaction will rise.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Network 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.