Use of IT Contractors/Temps in Midsize Companies on the Rise

May, 2004

According to research conducted by Computer Economics, the use of contractors and/or temporary IT help experienced a steady decline since 2000 in midsize organizations. However, this trend is reversing according to preliminary results from our 2004/2005 study. Computer Economics defines midsize organizations as having revenues ranging from $250M to $750M.

As part of its annual Information System Spending and Technology 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.

In 2003 the use of  outside personnel comprised only 1.8% 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 1.8% of their staff, while half reported that contractors and temps comprise more than 1.8% of there staff.

In the 2001 and 2002 annual studies, contractors and temps represented a substantially larger portion of the IS staff at the median level then in 2003, coming in at 4.2 % and 2.9% respectively. However, when compared against the median level reported in the year 2000, even those figures pale in comparison. In 2000, the median use of contractors and temp personnel in midsize organizations represented a whopping 6% of the IT staff.

Clearly, the continuing budget cuts from 2000 through 2003 and the tabling of numerous IT projects had a major impact on the need for outside help in many IT organizations. However that trend is finally reversing, as shown in Figure 1. The median use of contractors and temporary IT personnel in 2004 represents 5.0% of the IS staff. Computer Economics projects that 2005 will bring an even larger increase in the use of outside services personnel in midsize organizations. 

Figure 1
Use of IT Contractors/Temporary Help in Midsize Organizations 

Midsize Organizations

($250M – $750M in Revenues)











Percent of Total IT Staff






The 2004/2005 Information System Spending and Technology study will be available on June 1, 2004. This important planning tool has assisted hundreds of senior IT managers in making critical budget and technology forecasting decisions for 15 years.

For additional information or to purchase the 2004/2005 Information System Spending and Technology study, please contact Computer Economics at 1-800-326-8100 ext. 51

April 2004