Web Support Staff Facing New Demands

August, 2014

Online sales continue to grow, and investments in cloud architecture, mobile applications, and social networking are placing new demands on web and e-commerce functions. Outsourcing is also having a significant impact on Internet-related functions within today’s IT organizations.

As such, web support staffing remains an important element of today’s IT organization, even among organizations that outsource a large portion of this function. As shown in Figure 1 from our study, Web/E-Commerce Staffing Ratios, about 3.3% of the total IT staff is dedicated to web and-ecommerce functions at the median.

WebEComm Fig 1 - Web Support Staff Facing New Demands

The basic staffing ratio provides a baseline for the amount of resources the typical organization dedicates to administrating and developing websites. The range of staffing ratios is relatively wide, however. At the 25th percentile, only 2.0% of the staff is part of the web/e-commerce group, while the ratio rises to 5.8% at the 75th percentile. As such, we advise using multiple metrics for benchmarking purposes and caution that organization size and sector will influence these ratios.

While the composite metrics are useful for assessing trends, in the full study, we provide metrics by organizations size. We benchmark web staffing with three ratios: web/e-commerce staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per web/e-commerce staff member, and applications per web/e-commerce staff member. For web staffing, sector can also play an important role and we show the influence of sector on this metric. As this function is frequently outsourced, we also adjust benchmarks to account for the influence of outsourcing.

Our definition of web/e-commerce staff includes personnel who are responsible for the creation and maintenance of websites, intranets, and e-commerce systems. We also include personnel who manage EDI systems. Typical job titles in this category include webmaster, web designer, web administrator, web programmer, web developer, Internet specialist, and EDI specialist. We use the terms “web staff” and “web/e-commerce staff” interchangeably. We have a separate staffing category for personnel supporting communications and messaging systems.

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.