Use of IT Contractors/Temporary Help Continues to Drop in Midsize Companies

July, 2003

According to research conducted by Computer Economics, the use of contractors and/or temporary IT help has experienced a steady decline since 2000 in organizations of all sizes. However, this trend is most noticeable in midsize organizations (those organizations having revenues ranging from $250M to $750M).

As part of its annual Information System Spending study, Computer Economics benchmarks the use of IT contractors and temporary personnel in organizations across every major industry sector. Additionally, the study provides a composite figure for all industries combined, as well as benchmarking this data by organizational size.

This year, outside personnel comprise only 1% of the total IT staff in midsize organizations at the median level. Meaning that half the midsize companies participating in the study reported that contractors and temps comprise less than 1% of their staff, while half reported that contractors and temps comprise more than 1% of there staff. In the 2002 study, contractors and temps represented a substantially larger portion of the IS staff at the median level, coming in at 2.6%. However, when compared against the median level reported in the year 2000, even that figure pales in comparison. In 2000, the median use of contractors and temp personnel in midsize organizations represented a whopping 6% of the IT staff.

Clearly, two years of budget cuts and the tabling of numerous IT projects has had a major impact on the need for outside help in many IT organizations. Computer Economics projects that this trend will begin to turn around by year-end 2003, with a sizeable number of companies moving forward with new IT projects that will require them to augment their technical staffs.

Figure 1 illustrates the steady drop in the use of IT contractors and or temporary personnel in midsize organizations from 2000-2003.
Use of IT Contractors/Temporary Help in Midsize Organizations

Midsize Organizations

($250M – $750M in Revenues)

Median Use


Median Use


Median Use


Median Use


Percent of Total IT 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.