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Staffing Ratios

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I know this had been gone over in the past and there are no hard numbers given the diversity of different organizations so please bear with me.

I have been tasked with justifying a new FTE in our IT Department. We are a small to medium organzation with 600+ users. We have 3 administrative offices approx 60-80 miles apart. Roughly half our staff work onsite and the other half in the field. We have over 300 network devices including desktops, laptops, netbooks and various cell phone flavors in 3 subnets. 30+ servers, many in a HA virtualized Clustered environment. We host our own Exchange, Citrix, Accounting, Medical Billing, HR, Payroll etc. We are developing Sharepoint at the moment as an Intranet platform and 1 of our 3 IT personel is strickly Application Development (not SharePoint, a case management application).

That leaves me and 1 tech. I am the IT Director so as such am responsible for the Departmental, Strategic and Business Planning for my department. Also documentation, Policies and Procedures etc. We also have to cover help desk, trainings, presentations, upgrades, rollouts etc.

We know we need another body as does my supervisior, the COO.

I have been asked to present hard numbers as to industry standard staff / user ratios...

What is the best way to go about analyzing and computing this since I do know that there is no exact indiustry standard?

(I have heard more often than not over the years a number which I think is doable - 1:75)
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Question by:FSchaffer
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by:kevinhsieh
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I can tell that that in my organization, we have 3 FTE to handle the servers, workstation, cell phones, networking and such. We have about 450-500 endpoints, and 650 employees. The director isn't part of that count, nor are the DBAs and application support staff or web developers. I think that the old days of 75:1 was appropriate before Active Directory, WSUS, and affordable remote control software. We're closer to 200:1, but you're closer to 350:1, which is crazy.
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notacomputergeek earned 250 total points
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In my experience, 200:1 is the bare minimum to maintain the environment. That doesn't include management, DBAs, app dev, etc. That number is just the techs. Not every tech is a superwiz either. A lower ratio will give the team a chance to be proactice and not so reactive to the environment. Unfortunately, many companies look at IT as a necessary overhead evil and not a strategic business partner, so they try to get by with the minimum. Sell your value to the company.

Other companies will look at budgeting for IT as a % of the overall budget - 5% is a starting point, but that varies depending a many factors.

Get some hard numbers for management. How many calls are your handling now? How long does each call take? Do you have projects coming up that need extra time? What's the concensus with co-workers? Are they dissatisfied with response/resolution time? Are you currently working more that 40 hrs/wk? If so, are they paying overtime? Is your company allowing for education time, so you can keep up with technology? Are you on-call? How often do you work nights/weekends?

You may want to pitch that this new person will fill a certain role - maybe handle Help Desk, Training, Presentations, and End User Productivity. More of a front face for IT, like an IT Administrator, but can also step in to handle just about anything.
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by:James Murrell
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