Computer Economics — for IT metrics, ratios, benchmarks, and research advisories for IT management

This report provides highly detailed, comprehensive RadarView Profiles of the top 28 cybersecurity service providers along with their assets and experience in combating ever-growing security and privacy threats. It analyzes how the service provider landscape has evolved, not only in terms of categorization but also in the way they are investing in developing talent, enhancing organizational structures, expanding geographic focus, and strengthening their partner network. The service providers are judged on practice maturity, partnership ecosystem, and investments and innovation. (88 pp.)
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Nature of a Pandemic vs. other Natural DisastersPandemics are fundamentally different from the disasters commonly envisioned in disaster recovery and business continuity plans. The most recent threat of the Wuhan coronavirus highlights the fact that most organizations are not prepared for a pandemic scenario. This updated report outlines the specific ways in which pandemics are different from other types of disasters. It suggests three planning scenarios, and it outlines specific actions that IT risk managers should consider to prepare for them. If adequately prepared, the IT group will be able to continue to support critical business functions, and it can provide solutions to help the organization get through a pandemic. (13 pp., 1 fig.)
Note: In recognition of the urgent need, we are now offering this full report at no charge.
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Trend in Project Managers as Percentage of IT StaffIn today’s environment of rapid change, the role of the IT project manager is critical. It is no surprise, then, that after two years of decline, the number of project managers as a percentage of the total IT staff increased in 2018 and 2019. In this study, we assess how many project managers a typical IT organization requires. We present five benchmarks: project managers as a percentage of the IT staff, project managers as a percentage of the Application Group, users per project manager, applications per project manager, and application programmers per project manager. Our analysis also includes the influence of organization size and industry sector. We conclude with recommendations on assessing the performance of the project management function. (25 pp., 11 fig.)
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Market Scan: Coronavirus Impact Index by IndustryCOVID-19 fears continue to grip the world, with a growing number of people infected. In addition to the human tragedy, there is also a massive impact on business. But to truly understand the impact of the coronavirus on the world’s economy, it is important to view its varying effects by industry. This free Research Byte provides the analysis.


 Fig. 3: Practice Adoption Stages: Penetration TestingPenetration testing is an important element of IT security best practices. However, by itself, penetration testing is insufficient. It needs to be part of a robust and iterative process, in combination with the other security best practices to make it a formidable defensive weapon. In this report, we look at the maturity of penetration testing as an IT discipline. We assess current adoption trends by organization size and sector. We conclude with practical advice on best practices for conducting penetration tests. (15 pp., 6 fig)
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Fig. 3: Practice Adoption Stages: Two-Factor AuthenticationTwo-factor authentication is an IT security best practice that provides an extra layer of protection for system access. It is a highly advisable security measure, but our annual survey of IT management best practices shows that not enough companies use it formally and consistently. This report begins with a brief explanation of two-factor authentication. We next study two-factor authentication adoption and practice levels, examining those by organization size and sector. We conclude with best-practice recommendations. (16 pp., 6 fig.)
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Trend in Desktop Support Staff as Percentafe of IT StaffWhen viewed as a percentage of the total IT staff, the percentage of desktop support personnel has now reached a three-year low. We expect this metric to stay flat or decline further in the near future for several reasons. In this study, we use four metrics for benchmarking: desktop support staff as a percentage of the IT staff, PCs per desktop support staff member, applications per desktop support staff member, and users per support staff member. We also assess these ratios by organization size and sector. In addition, we provide benchmarks for the end-user support group, comprised of desktop support, help desk support, and the IT training/documentation staff. We conclude with strategies for improving the efficiency of the desktop support staff. (24 pp., 11 fig.)
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Technology Trends 2020This major study provides insight into the customer experience and adoption rates for 15 technologies that are top-of-mind for IT leaders worldwide. The study also delves into satisfaction of the customer experience and the specific types of solutions under consideration. With this information business leaders are in a better position to assess the potential risks and rewards of each of these technologies. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments. Forward looking, we also explore 18 future and early adopter technologies along with level of awareness and adoption (141 pp., 113 figs.)
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 Fig. 1: Trend in Help Desk Staff as Percentage of IT StaffThe help desk not only plays a key role in maintaining user productivity, it also serves as the day-to-day face of the IT organization. This report provides staffing benchmarks for the help desk (service desk), which took a significant jump this year. We look at the trend in help desk staffing over a five-year period and provide four benchmarks by organization size and sector: help desk staff as a percentage of the IT staff, users per help desk staff member, applications per help desk staff member, and first-call resolution rate. Because companies organize the end-user support function in different ways, we also provide benchmarks for a combined help desk and desktop support staff. We conclude with recommendations on optimizing help desk staffing levels. (24 pp., 11 fig.)
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Fig. 1: E-Commerce Adoption and Customer Experience ProfileFor many organizations, e-commerce systems are not a nice-to-have but an essential element of their business model. Nevertheless, while the overall ROI and TCO experience of e-commerce systems are positive, these systems can be complex and difficult to deploy. This report provides an overview of e-commerce adoption and investment trends, providing data on how many organizations have the technology in place, how many are in the process of implementing it, and how many are expanding implementations. We also look at the ROI experience, TCO experience, and which type of e-commerce applications are the most popular. We conclude with important principles for planning and implementing e-commerce systems. (21 pp., 11 fig.)
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Fig. 1: Trend in Business Analysts as Percentage of IT StaffBusiness analysts continue to play a critical role in IT organizations, although they declined again this year as a percentage of the IT staff. The business analyst serves as a bridge between the IT organization and business users. It is a multifaceted role that is important for ensuring that IT application systems meet business objectives. In this study, we assess staffing levels for the business analyst using four metrics: business analysts as a percentage of the IT staff, business analysts as a percentage of the Application Group, applications per business analyst, and users per business analyst. We also present ratios by organization size and sector. (23 pp., 10 fig.)
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Figure 1: Security Adoption and Customer Experience ProfileOrganizations in all industries and of all sizes need IT security technology, and with threats on the rise, the investment rate is the highest of any category of technology that we track. However, customer satisfaction and return on investment are not as rosy, with security technology earning a relatively low ROI rating and a moderate satisfaction rating. This report examines adoption trends for IT security technology of all types, from basic capabilities, such as firewalls and spam filtering to more advanced tools, such as incident detection, and everything in between. We analyze the adoption rate, investment rate, and economic experience for security technology overall. We conclude with recommendations for ensuring the success of IT security technology investments. (20 pp., 10 fig.)
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Forecast for IT Operational Budget Growth in 2020, by Organizational Size, WorldwideAlthough IT leaders worldwide have a positive outlook for the global economy, that outlook seems a bit tinged with frustration compared to previous years. This report, based on our Q4 survey, provides data on the global and U.S./Canadian trends for IT spending and staffing in 2020. This year, our report assesses IT operational and capital spending plans, executive priorities for IT investment, and plans for hiring, outsourcing, and pay raises for IT organizations worldwide and in the U.S. and Canada. (34 pp., 24 fig.)
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Copier Vendors: HP, Konika, MinoltaMarket intelligence on current discounting practices for business equipment can be difficult to obtain. As a result, buyers do not know whether a better deal can be negotiated. This updated report, based on our knowledge of recent deals, provides buyers with guidance concerning current discount structures on a variety of equipment. Categories include IT equipment (desktops, laptops, network equipment, printers, servers, and storage), office equipment (copiers, mail equipment), forklifts, medical equipment, test equipment, and miscellaneous equipment. Major vendors include IBM, HP, Dell, HP, Apple, and others. Includes a downloadable PDF workbook of more than 300 deals used in the report to calculate average discounts and soft cost statistics (11 pp., 11 fig.).


Fig. 2: Outsourcing Frequency: Desktop SupportCost savings from outsourcing the desktop support function are positive, but declining service levels are bogging down growth in these services. This report examines adoption trends and customer experience with desktop support outsourcing. We report on the percentage of organizations that outsource (frequency), the average amount of work outsourced (level), and the change in the amount of work being outsourced (trend). We also present success rates for the customer’s cost and service experience, and show how use of these services differs by organization size and sector. We conclude with factors to consider when evaluating options for outsourcing this function. (17 pp., 8 fig.)
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Fig. 10: Adequacy of Current IT Operational Budget to Support the Business: Very Small OrganizationsFor the first time, Computer Economics has conducted a study on the IT spending habits of “very small” organizations in the U.S. and Canada, a population that is beneath the size threshold for our annual IT spending and staffing benchmark study. This report examines high-level IT spending,  staffing metrics and trends for such very small IT organizations. We further break down the high-level metrics by three sectors: manufacturing, retail and wholesale distribution; professional and technical services; and financial services. To qualify as very small for the purposes of this study, a company has to be either under $50 million in revenue or under $1 million in IT operational spending. (36 pp., 17 fig.)
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IT Management Best practices 2019-2020The best-run IT organizations not only focus their process improvement efforts on those of other departments, they also seek to optimize their own IT management processes internally. In this study, we examine the growth and maturity of 34 IT management practices which we have grouped into five major categories: IT governance practices, IT financial management practices, IT operational management practices, IT security and risk management practices, and application development practices. (197 pp., 178 figs.)
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IT Outsourcing StatisticsThis major study profiles outsourcing activity for 11 IT functions: application development, application management, data center operations, database administration, desktop support, disaster recovery services, help desk services, IT security, network operations, system implementation/integration and web/e-commerce systems. For each IT function, we measure the frequency and level of outsourcing. We also look at the current plans of IT organizations to increase or decrease the amount of work they outsource. We examine the customer experience to assess whether organizations are successfully lowering costs or improving service through outsourcing. Finally, we show the outsourcing frequency by sector for each function. (115 pp., 97 fig.)
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Our 2019/2020 IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks study provides a comprehensive view of the current state of IT budgeting and staffing levels for business and governmental organizations in the U.S. and Canada, based on our 30th annual survey. Detailed metrics are provided by organization size and by industry sector. From within this article, you can purchase all 31 chapters at a significant discount off the individual chapter price. Individual chapters are also available for purchase – click the Full Study Description below for details. (1,811 pp., 1,057 figs.)
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