Web Staffing Holds Steady During Recession

November, 2010

The number of staff members required to support web and e-commerce systems has remained surprisingly steady during the past three years. While companies clearly are continuing to invest in web technology, our study, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios, finds that they are not significantly increasing web-specific staff as a percentage of the total IT staff.

As shown in Figure 1, web staff as a percentage of the total IT staff has remained about the same over the period from 2008 to 2010, rising from 2.6% of the IT staff in 2008 to 2.8% of the IT staff in 2009 and then decreasing to 2.4% of the IT staff in 2010.

Web Fig1 - Web Staffing Holds Steady During Recession

Because organizations categorize functions differently, we consolidate our staffing categories into larger groups for purposes of analysis and comparison. We place web staff in the application group along with other IT staff involved in developing and maintaining applications, including application programmers, business analysts, data warehouse staff, and quality assurance and testing personnel.

The data shows the application group has increased slightly as a percentage of the IT staff over the same three-year period, based on our annual survey of more than 200 IT organizations. The rise from 2008 to 2009 is partially attributable to the reclassification of some functions from data administration to data warehousing support, but growth in this category can also be attributed to an expansion in the ranks of business analysts.

Our definition of web/e-commerce staff includes personnel who are responsible for the creation and maintenance of websites, intranets, and e-commerce sites. We also include personnel who manage electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. Typical job titles in this category include webmaster, web designer, web administrator, web programmer, web developer, Internet specialist, and EDI specialist.

The full study provides an overview on web staffing, including a look at the frequency and level of web systems outsourcing. We then provide benchmarks on web/e-commerce staff by organization size, including web/e-commerce staff as a percentage of the IT staff and application developers per web/e-commerce staff member. For comparison, we provide the same benchmarks for the application group as a whole. Finally, we look at how web staff size varies by sector.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Web/E-Commerce 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.