Talent Management Programs Depend On Adjustments
June 9, 2014 Dan Burger
IT staffing is a serious concern for IBM midrange shops. It is a concern for every company regardless of platform, but the IBM i community is “home” for IT Jungle readers, and the concerns of employees and employers echo across the confederacy. Understaffing and a lack of modern business computing skills are common references. So are cost-cutting measures and workforce rebalancing. Metrics such as servers per server support staff member and IT budget dedicated to application maintenance are highlighted on spreadsheets. Division of labor and the economies of scale factor into this as well. And I almost forgot the aging workforce aspect, which is as relevant to IBM i shops as anywhere in the IT universe.
Those who study human resources, like the analysts at Computer Economics, consider categories that include IT management; the application group that contains business analysts, app dev and systems analysts, Web staff, data architects, and quality assurance and testing personnel; the infrastructure group that includes database administrators, systems programmers and engineers, and production operations staff, network, and security personnel; and technical services such as help desk, desktop tech support, training, and documentation round out the categories.
Making smart investments in human capital while managing business risks and costs is arguably more important in 2014 than it’s ever been.
IT Staffing Ratios: Benchmarking Metrics and Analysis for 14 Key IT Functions is a compilation of separate reports compiled by Computer Economics. The study provides metrics for staffing, assessments according to organization size and sector, and strategies for improving efficiency. Conclusions from this report should help organizations determine staffing metrics for IT staffing based on industry trends.
For example, in the desktop support category, the report shows a five-year trend for the percentage of IT staff devoted to desktop support with a bump in the fifth year. It also reports 95 percent of large organizations (more than 100 IT staff members), 93 percent of midsize organizations (IT staff between 26 and 99 members), and 68 percent of small organizations (25 or fewer IT staff members) have desktop support staff. It also accounts for companies that outsource that function, those that have no desktop support, and those that combine held desk support with desktop support.
On the application programmer staffing report, Computer Economics notes the need for application programmers is in flux and IT organizations need periodic assessment of their staffing levels. The metrics to make that assessment are programmers as a percentage of the IT staff, users per programmer, and applications per programmer. Because the company sells data to pay the bills, the only glimpse of data I can give you is the above mentioned desktop support category.
The complete report covers these IT functions: ERP, data warehouse and business intelligence, desktop, business analysis, help desk, server support, IT QA and testing, IT management and administration, project management, IT security, Web/eCommerce, database administration, application development and maintenance, and network support.
The $995 price of this bundled report is a 63 percent discount compared to purchasing the individual reports that comprise this version. The survey itself included more than 200 IT organizations across 10 major industry sectors.