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Ratio of IT Department Workers To Overall Employees?

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the efficiency-and-critical-mass dept.

IT 385

An anonymous reader writes "I was recently talking to a friend about the Fortune 100 company she works for in IT. She told me the company has 35,000 employees, including over 5,000 IT employees — and it's not a web firm. It has numerous consultants doing IT work as well. To me, from a background where my last job had 50 IT employees and 1,000 total, a 1-in-7 ratio of IT employees seems extremely high. Yet she mentioned even simple changes to systems/software take over six months. So, what ratio does your company have, and what is reasonable? How much does this differ by industry?" I'd be interested to see how much it differs by OS platform as well.

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What about... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716209)

The ratio to niggers to whites?

That's a lot o' IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716215)

5,000 IT (+ IT consultants) for a non tech/web firm seems a little out-of-whack.

Re:That's a lot o' IT (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716233)

maybe, but what if it's a bank which lives and dies by it's it systems?

Re:That's a lot o' IT (3, Funny)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716471)

Seriously. I can't see a company of that size needing more than maybe 25 total IT workers, and that's being generous.


no set ratio (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716219)

it varies according the what the business needs. there is no set ratio thats "good" so please any manager reading this don't make it your next brain fart.

Re:no set ratio (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716297)

how is this flamebait, its accurate.

So let's flame on... (5, Insightful)

refactored (260886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716851)'s the nature of hierarchical systems like corporates that the _WORST_ companies, employing the WORST methods employ the most people because they are so inefficient that they need to get the job done.

And, depending on multiple factors like... how complete their monopoly is, how rich their niche is, how fat their investors pockets are, how crooked their pocket politicians are... they last a widely varying length of time. As they say, the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

Alas, since they set the methods for, the processes used by so many people, they get to all the conferences, write the papers, fill the text books.... with crap!

So which are the right methods? Which are the best tools?

Nobody actually has the foggiest.

Now. Let me really pour the flaming oil on...

And, no matter what Fred Brook's sacred book says, there really is a magic bullet for software development.

It's called doing software properly. From the top to the bottom. It's called relentless simplicity. It's called sound design. It's called proper UI design. It's called Quality beats Schedule.

Compared to the rest of the dump shoddy pack, yes, two orders of magnitude improvement are available.

Alas... nobody knows what it is.

Nobody even knows what "improve" is. The field is obscured by vapour, hype and gas created by the "biggest" and "BEST" companies.

Now let the trolls ROCK!

Re:no set ratio (4, Interesting)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716503)

A very good point. I work in an internet cafe, and everyone - even the manager - is IT staff. If anyone there weren't IT staff, our efficiency would go out the window. I'm just pleased that my first job in IT didn't land me with a Pointy Haired Boss.

Re:no set ratio (2, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716807)

Don't you have anyone in charge of making the coffee?

Re:no set ratio (5, Insightful)

Perf (14203) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716561)

So true.

At my first company, over half the employees worked in production. A later company, about 10% were production workers.

The difference?

The first company produced high quantities of inexpensive consumables.

The second company made low quantities of custom control panels. Low quantity, high price. Another major source of income was in servicing the controls.

In some companies, the computers and users are directly related to generating income. e.g. Telemarketing or bookkeeping firm. In others, the computers are more of an overhead expense. e.g. meat packing plant.

I think a more stable number is ratio of computers to IT staff.

Re:no set ratio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716843)

I am more interested in the ratio of hotties to beasts in marketing.

In Australia (4, Informative)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716229)

Global company, 400 staff, 4 IT Staff. We do outsource local support for over seas offices though and have a consulting firm we use for extra hands when needed.

Re:In Australia (4, Interesting)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716249)

Forgot the OS stuffs. Imaging/Standard Builds/Standard hardware all User equipment Windows XP Sp2/3, Servers mixture of Virtualised/Physical, Windows, Linux, Solaris.

1:100 at many places (5, Interesting)

VoidEngineer (633446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716235)

I just left a job at a hospital of 3000 employees, which had an official IT staff of... wait for it..... 12. I was part of the big "departmental restructuring" where the IT staff went up to... 18! And of course they wanted us to be on call 24/7 and would refuse us vacation time because there wasn't anybody to cover for us. Needless to say, I resigned.

But yeah... 1:100 ratio is not unheard of at many hospitals. It's all because of outsourcing....

Sixt has that without outsourcing (3, Interesting)

Casandro (751346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716275)

Sixt, a german car rental company which is mostly based on Linux (including the desktop) it is roughly 1:100. They have about 2000 employees and about a dozend of them are in the IT-department.

Re:1:100 at many places (1)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716521)

I used to work for local government and before my position was created, there were 2 IT staff for nearly 200 staff in total. The ratio went down when I started (although I was still only part time), when we had a whopping 2.6 IT staff for around 200 staff in total.

For anything to get done outside of 'everyday stuff', we had to bring in consultants. It doesn't surprise me that larger places don't increase their IT support relatively.

extremely high (3, Funny)

bitflusher (853768) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716237)

I am the only human in my own little IT firm, that makes a 1 in 1 ratio...

Re:extremely high (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716325)

Same here, although at times there are 0% IT staff, like when I'm doing paperwork. And at times there are 200% IT workers, like when I get my better half to lend a hand.

Which brings me over to the question "what is an IT person?"
I am sure that different companies define this differently, and some might consider e.g. payroll processing "IT work", while others include non-IT personnel working for the IT department, like (in order of importance) janitors, cafeteria workers and CIOs. In a big company, they still may be employed in the IT division, and count as IT.

Re:extremely high (5, Interesting)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716883)

Which brings me over to the question "what is an IT person?"
I am sure that different companies define this differently, and some might consider e.g. payroll processing "IT work", while others include non-IT personnel working for the IT department, like (in order of importance) janitors, cafeteria workers and CIOs. In a big company, they still may be employed in the IT division, and count as IT.

That's a very good point. It can work the other way as well, where you have "IT people" who don't work for the IT department. I have no idea how many people work in my company's "IT Department", because I don't work there and generally have no need to talk to them about anything. I work for a department called the "Solution Centre", which is in charge of finding and developing IT solutions for customers (rather than internal IT, which is what our IT department does). I'm employed primarily as a programmer. So, am I an "IT Person" or not? How about the guy in my department who (amongst other things) is responsible for making sure our test network stays up? He doesn't work in the "IT Department" either, but in almost every way can be considered a sys admin.

If you ONLY count our "IT Department", I GUESS we have a ratio of around 1:100 or maybe less, but if you count people outside of the IT department who do IT related work, it's probably closer to 1:5. We've got somewhere around 40000 employees worldwide (not counting third party companies that "live and die" solely by what we do and for all intents and purposes are part of us, just not from the "business" side)

Our main "normal" IT infrastructure is a mix of Linux and Windows servers for various tasks and I think an AS/400 type system somewhere, with almost exclusively Windows XP workstations for employees. In departments such as mine, we tend to be 25% Linux, 40% Windows, 30% MacOS X and 5% Other (including things like a couple of Solaris boxes, one Mac OS 9, and so on. Most of the people in our department have TWO laptops per person - one (usually WinXP system) for the "corporate network" (where we check our email, etc) and one for the "test network" where we do all our real work. On top of that, we have the mix of systems I just described as desktop systems and servers on our test network. The IT department only looks after our corporate network systems (which are mostly WinXP).

Easy peasy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716241)

150 users to IT staff of 1
Citrix/windows mixture with Linux A majority are dumb terms.

And Avaya phone switch

There are very few times where I am utterly swamped.

high School (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716251)

When I worked for my high school it was around 400+ desktops, 500 students, ~30-40 staff members and the tech department was 1 guy plus what ever time I had to spare to help him out. so that's what? 200:1 for desktops to us, 270:1 for users to us, and 15-20 to 1 for staff to us. I was able to keep up with almost all the issues by myself honestly.. so yea 7:1 ratio? those techs must have a whole lot work they have to do per change 0.o

Re:high School (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716379)

I work at high school also... 150 desktops, 330 students, 50 staff. Itâ(TM)s just me. I usually have no problem taking care of the place when school is in session. Itâ(TM)s the stuff during the summer like upgrading machines, running cable, installing projectors that can be annoying. But it really depends on the type of company you work for. For education a 250:1 ratio is not bad. Some districts have one guy covering four urban high schools. Thatâ(TM)s like 10,000:1. Explains why tech is so great in our school systemsâ¦

there can be 2 reasons (1)

extirpater (132500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716261)

1- The company she works is a partner company for CIA.
2- Non-IT people are over 70+ years old, Joe Sixpacks.

Very heterogenous environment: 1-in-28 (4, Informative)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716273)

I'm working at a semi-governmental organisation and I'm frankly amazed at how efficient we are. It's a mixed shop, with Cisco for network equipment, Novell for authentication/file/print sharing/mail servers, Sun for the Unix infrastructure and Linux for all secondary servers. The desktops are 25% Linux, 75% Windows XP.

We're with 200 people, most of them engineers or scientists. Our IT department consists of 7 people.

Re:Very heterogenous environment: 1-in-28 (3, Insightful)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716491)

well.. it helps that most engineers and scientists had to take computer courses and don't have to call you when they see "Internet Explorer has encountered an error and must close." ;)

Law Firm (1)

hal9k (7650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716277)

Mostly Windows XP / Server 2003
19 IT Folk / 483 Total Employees =~ 4%

Makes sense (5, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716283)

Her IT department is layered, not flat. The fact that simple changes take 6 months shows that it's not 5000 doing anything useful, it's probably more like 2000 doing something useful, who have to ask the 1000 above them, who need signatures from the 500 above them, who need approval from the 200 above them, etc. They sheer number of them is hurting their performance, not helping.

Re:Makes sense (2, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716327)

Until you get the next time where someone has a genius idea with a subtle flaw that doesn't get caught until it goes through the 3rd level of red tape.
When you are talking about a big enough organization, any amount of bureaucracy and layers will pay for itself if it prevents a single huge mistake every couple years.

Re:Makes sense (5, Insightful)

blippo (158203) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716397)

I'd guess that the subtle flaw would *fly* through the 3rd level or red tape,
as the devil is in the details, and generally not in power point presentations.

Re:Makes sense (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716771)

Which is why you have

development -> testing -> live

Bureaucracy doesn't create quality, testing does.

Re:Makes sense (3, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716841)

Until you get the next time where someone has a genius idea with a subtle flaw that doesn't get caught until it goes through the 3rd level of red tape.
When you are talking about a big enough organization, any amount of bureaucracy and layers will pay for itself if it prevents a single huge mistake every couple years.

Quite the opposite. Each layer can then try to blame the one above / below it. When there are only 2 / 3 layers of bureaucracy, each takes on more responsibility.

Re:Makes sense (5, Interesting)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716395)

I have repeatedly worked for exactly this kind of company.

As a 13 year IT veteran who has worked everywhere from .com startups to world-wide multi-billion dollar fortune 100s, I must say that you hit an amazing amount of bloat quite quickly.

I can't say what the ideal ration is, but my current company is too big at about 1:10, and my previous company was 5k people with an IT of less than 30 (about 166:1).

The previous company was amazingly hard work when we had 15 IT, and then suddenly the C levels decided we need help and added 4 managers, 3 directors, a VP, and a change control board. We only got about 10 actual "workers". Productivity plummeted.

My current company has an IT so big that we spend all of our time fighting with each other. It takes months to create new user accounts, months to get simple servers built, 2 weeks to schedule a reboot, etc. The users and the business hate us.

A DOD shop I worked for had a staff of 500 for 12k users, and it worked pretty efficiently. Of course, they were almost entirely former/current military. This led to always knowing precisely what you were supposed to be doing and a really well run group. Maybe that makes a difference?

So, while I can't say what the exact ratio is, it is pretty low. I also think the skill level has something do with it - a small team of skilled people "bond" and form a fast moving and smooth team. A huge team lends itself to infighting, argument, one-upsmanship, face saving, and general worthless behavior.

Re:Makes sense (2)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716599)

a small team of skilled people "bond" and form a fast moving and smooth team. A huge team lends itself to infighting, argument, one-upsmanship, face saving, and general worthless behavior.


Re:Makes sense (4, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716645)

The users and the business hate us.

The same people who install browser tool bars that crash their system, waste 3 of your hours having you read the HP laserjet manual because they can't get their favorite font to print in order to impress a big-wig, etc. Bad users often want the freedom to make a mess, but don't want to pay for the clean-up.

There needs to be better priority allocation such that those who abuse IT services stop getting a free ride.


Re:Makes sense (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716729)

The users and the business hate us.

The same people who install browser tool bars that crash their system, waste 3 of your hours having you read the HP laserjet manual because they can't get their favorite font to print in order to impress a big-wig, etc. Bad users often want the freedom to make a mess, but don't want to pay for the clean-up.

There needs to be better priority allocation such that those who abuse IT services stop getting a free ride.


There needs to be better priority allocation such that those who abuse IT services stop getting a free ride.

There are those who would argue that the _purpose_ of an IT team is to help users who have installed a malicious toolbar or need to print a specific font.

Re:Makes sense (2, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716865)

There needs to be better priority allocation such that those who abuse IT services stop getting a free ride.

There are those who would argue that the _purpose_ of an IT team is to help users who have installed a malicious toolbar or need to print a specific font.

And then there is me who says they should ask up front if they don't have a clue. As in "Organizing my files with Windows Explorer is troublesome, can you recommend an alternative file manager?" instead of installing some random software from the internet.

Now I would not crucify someone for a one-time slip in that department, but a user who crashes his machine every two months needs to have his admin rights revoked.

Printing a certain font, however, can be a legitimate need. As in "you have already published stuff in that font and you want more of the same for consistency".

Crazy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716289)

Wow.. that's insane.

SOX compliance causing the insanity?

Re:Crazy.. (4, Interesting)

TedRiot (899157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716639)

I was just about to think no-one would bring up SOX, when AC came to the rescue. The SOX requirements AFAIK for IT are insane. People doing development aren't allowed to touch production systems, for example.

I met a guy recently that works for a US company that has to follow SOX. They have a quarterly audit which lasts 8 weeks at a time and has more than 600 audit points for IT alone. This means that 2/3 of the time of year they are under audit. And if you fail the same point in two audits in a row, it's byebye.

"how much it differs by OS platform" (1, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716293)

Oh come on. "Oooh, gee, I bet those poor suckers managing Windo$e from Micro$haft are way worse!" (cue geeky dweeb laugh..'dur hee schnee snort snort tee hee').

I see what you're driving at, and all, it's just that it's stupid. The fact is that it comes down to the quality of the admin more than it does the platform. A crappy Linux admin is going to spend a lot of time managing 50 systems the same way a crappy Windows admin is. Either system provides the tools to effectively manage a large environment if you know how to use them.

Re:"how much it differs by OS platform" (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716411)

However a home computer operating system designed without reliability in mind and driven mainly by a graphical interface is a lot harder to keep running in bulk. There are good third party tools to work around the limitations so it ALMOST evens out with identical win32 systems cloned from an image VS a heterogeneous environonment of six kinds of *nix.

You have to remember that we poor suckers either manage both or get called in when the Win32 folks get overwhelmed. It isn't just pointless name calling. Now if the MS Server line was being used instead of home systems like XP or Vista it is a bit of a different story but it is home computer systems that end up on desks instead. Those products eat up vast amounts of time hence the requirement to get more people to look after it and the requirement to standardise and lock it down as much as possible. Even fanboys should have noticed the amount of time it takes to keep users free from malware.

Re:"how much it differs by OS platform" (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716795)

I can't tell if you're trolling or your company really bought a bunch of XP home or vista home licenses to use with a windows domain environment. If you would put in the money to get pro/business, you'd see that most of the tools available to manage the desktops and the servers are identical, from security policies, to management tools, to single-sign-on accounts. So the moral of the story for you is, stop being cheap on the desktops (if you're a microsoft shop that is)

Re:"how much it differs by OS platform" (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716879)

I can't tell if you're trolling or your company really bought a bunch of XP home or vista home licenses

I've come in to clean up the mess on one occasion after this has been done and it can be a truly spectacular mess if some idiot has tried to move 100 desktops from NT4 to XP Home overnight (he and his assistants were fired during this migration). I've seen the side effects at another place - a client that had faxes trapped in their shambolic MS system for over a week. It is far more common than you would expect.

On the other hand - XP "Pro" even when properly run was well and truly a hobby OS up until SP2 and even now is a horrible time sink. The current place is a *nix environment simply because it is a niche market that Microsoft did not notice - however there are a few Win2k, XP and Vista machines where required. XP IMHO is still only worth the longer start up times and the random times the user just has to stare at an unmoving screen if there are no Win2k drivers. The increased "security" of XP is irrelevant since it still needs to be isolated from the outside world just as much as Win2k, and Vista is only relevant when required applications will actually run on it (improving situation). Microsoft has taught users to think that computers are slow and unreliable.

Re:"how much it differs by OS platform" (1)

idfubar (668691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716567)

To be fair, design and implementation of an infrastructure is just as important as who administers it... those crappy admins might be living with the legacy of someone else's choices. administers

What about technical vs. non-technical within IT? (4, Informative)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716299)

I'd be much more interested in the ratio of technical IT people to non-technical. I'm not referring to managers of IT staff, but the throngs of Project Managers. I'm at a large networking company that rhymes with CrISCO and it seems whenever we have a hiring freeze in IT, they are still pouring in the Project Managers. I haven't figured out what they manage, but there sure is a lot of them.

Re:What about technical vs. non-technical within I (3, Informative)

hachete (473378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716437)

2:1 in the place where I work. Yes, that's 2/3 managers to 1/3 programmers. I'd be interested in hearing of other ratios.

Re:What about technical vs. non-technical within I (1)

SuperQ (431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716499)

That's why I love my job. In my group we have 1 manager for ~20 people (plus a few more in an EU timezone for off-hours oncall, but they have a local official manager). My manager handles 2 sub-groups that work on different projects. Each project has a technical (former sysadmin and former software engineer) PM that is also a 50% engineer. So really we have 2 FTE managers for 20 people. The 1:(10-15) manager to engineer ratio fairly common.

Re:What about technical vs. non-technical within I (4, Interesting)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716513)

I worked with a US company were the ratio was 6:1. Yes, about 6 managers for 1 programmer (they had 3). They've been working on their (not so complicated) product for about 4 years, with no end in sight.

Re:What about technical vs. non-technical within I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716665)

At my last job we had 3:1. there was huge overhead and when i tried to explain why it hurts performance i was told it's like that because that's the way it has always been (and that it wasn't going to change so get used to it).

needless to say i didn't stop looking for a new job after i started there.

Re:What about technical vs. non-technical within I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716507)

They do exactly what Bill Lumbergh does in the movie "office space."

Ad Agency (2)

absent_speaker (905145) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716301)

We had 640 employees, 4 locations and 9 IT staff.

Can easily handle 120 end users amongst 2 Staff (2, Interesting)

duncanbiscuits (806489) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716305)

150 pc's and laptops currently being used, 2 IT staff. Mining Industry.

My numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716311)

I run everything that relates to IT (from budgeting, purchasing, Telco, ISP contract negotiations, servers, hardware, software, user support) all by myself at a company, listed on the stock exchange. We have about 60 users at our main office and about 25 at an other. Mostly Windows shop with some Linux servers, workstations, some Macs, plenty of data, database, support for a great variety of applications from financial stuff to animation, video production. Not even server vendor support contract.

It all depends (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716313)

It all depends on what you do and how heavily people rely on IT (and the complexity of the IT). I worked at a spook house. Security was the big item, but 1 IT person for 20 people was about right. I worked at another place that had a lot of live data, GIS, bi-directional streaming data (both networked and SCADA) and half a dozen outside agencies feeding or being fed data. Two IT people for 9 users (at any given time, the place was very much 24/7/365) was about right.

Public School sector (1)

racerx509 (204322) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716319)

I currently work for a very overcrowded high school, and the ratio is 2 IT for 300 non. We have 300 staff, but in addition to the staff are another 3000 students(thats unique emails and logins for everyone, students included). As for equipment, theres roughly 10 servers, 450 desktops, 450 laptops and 11 wiring closets with cisco equipment in each.

Most of it is running all wintel stuff, with the occaisional bits of linux and a mac every now and again in the bunch.

Re:Public School sector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716407)

Damn. I thought I had it bad. Public university sattelite campus--four staff for 200-ish full-time faculty, another 200+ part-time/adjunct faculty, plus Windows domain accounts for 600+ students. E-mail (mostly) handled by main campus.

Depends on the industry... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716321)

The friend of this poster may have worked in a very highly regulated industry, such as financial services, healthcare, etc. If that is the case, in many instances that will lead to more IT folks relative to the overall core business.

I happen to work for a very large bank. We've got tons of IT folks and we have a very structured (and IMO a very organized) method of change control. Many times, this is the business's choice, but some of it relates to government regulation. This obviously makes sense... purely software firms can have wiggle room and room for software defects when they go live; however, banks do not have that wiggle room. There are heavy handed tactics government agencies can use to put the smack down on a bank for massive screwups (and this has happened), but there's the PR cost as well. If a bank makes the news for losing depositors' money, that literally could drive the bank out of business if the screwups were bad enough. I suspect the same is true for every regulated industry and (to a lessor extent) every gigantic company.

I am a tiny cog in a massive wheel and and freggin' love it.

Small time (1)

Sporked_1 (827978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716329)

I work for a small school district, approx. 450 users (350 kids and the rest staff), a mix of 250 win desktops and laptops, about to roll out 180 macs in two weeks and it's just me. I have a director, that uh... "directs", and a data manager that does just that, but it's just me for installs and support for a district that spans 1750 square miles. Sure it's a little nuts sometime, okay nuts most of the time, but it seems to work. Someone once recommended 1 support person per 50 users, but I guess it depends on a lot of different things, such as how organized the shop is and availability of qualified personnel in the local employment pools. Some places may be forced to operate with larger workloads on fewer staff due to factors like these.

BSD IS DEAD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716335)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save *BSD from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

hmm (1)

extirpater (132500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716365)

We're exactly talking about this, you got the point! Congratulations! Take your xanax pill next time.

Re:hmm (1)

Sporked_1 (827978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716469)

Who's got time for xanax? I'm going full throttle for total burnout and the early checkout. I've already gotten the heart upgrade (icd/pacemaker) since I started, stress related, stoking up on my first ulcer and I've only been here 2 years. On the other hand, I'm a wireless device now!

Full-time or part-time? (1)

KingRobot (703860) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716345)

We get by with 1 full-time and 3-part time, for 4 locations and about 100 users.

Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716349)

Based on my experience, and from the experience of my friends who also work in I.T., that seems like way too many I.T. people. My company is a small-medium business with a ratio of 1-25! And I still sometimes have down time... Granted, I wouldn't expect this ratio to scale for a fortune 500 company, but still... 1-7? Wow. At the same time, I guess it depends on the nature of the company. If they have a programming department writing internal software, the numbers could climb very quickly. It is easy to staff 20 - 30 developers if you're a company that size, in constant need of custom software, testing, and patching. The simple changes in network configuration might also make sense, but again, it depends. If they have to shut down part of the network for 10 minutes to change something, they probably need approval, and that will have to wait awhile to blend with other projects that also need downtime. At one place I know of, a rather large real estate company, down time has to be approved because they lose X-amount of profit every minute they're offline. If they go down for 10 or 15 minutes it's a big deal. I can imagine that being an issue with a fortune 500 company as well, given their size.

many moons ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716363)

in an engineering college, 2000+ students, 200 staff and faculty, 1 IT person. But that was back in the days of vaxes and rs232 terminals and a smattering of workstations as donated and in small labs.

Once the PC's rolled in, there was no way to keep up.

1 to 9, nearly all MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716429)

I'm the only Linux desktop where I work. Hopefully that will change soon.

Most everything is MS, including servers. We have an additional outside consultant for Cisco equipment and MS software. Good times...

Small law firm, 55 people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716433)

I'm the only guy full time, we have an Outsourcing crew that covers me for hit the highway scenarios. I support 200 total software pieces, 110 nodes. ~6 Servers are W2K3 and 2 linux, clients are XP. I'm not that busy. They love the work I do, and it's mellow.

My old orkplace (4, Interesting)

tyldis (712367) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716439)

250 employees on 200 computers.
500 students on 100 computers.
8 locations.
10 servers.
Ancient infrastructure (NT4 and NetWare) desperately needing an upgrade.
IT staff: just me.

This was for a Norwegian muncipality a few years ago. It was fun since I could control every aspect of things, and develop most things from scratch.
NT4 got replaced by a mix of Linux and Windows 2003 and hardware inrastructure renewed.

The downside was work 24/7 and no real vacation. I lasted two years before I ran away.

Now, as for ratio i don't think it is symmetrical. Having your IT staff go from 1 to 2 will give you very little extra beyond sanity. It would not mean double capacity. However, going from 19 to 20 IT staff that last person would add heaps of more capacity.

22 to 25 percent for us (1)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716441)

For a company of 16 to 18 people (it has been fluctuating in that range in recent months), we have four people whom you could consider some form of IT. This is not the typical definition of IT. We are a factory with lots of computerized equipment. Most of our time is split 50/50 between developing in-house software and programming the equipment for changeovers. The rest of the time (yes, I said 50/50, but that's 50/50 of most of the time; no math problem here) is spent keeping all of the company's computers and office equipment working properly. This involves anything from changing toner cartridges to specifying equipment purchases to reinstalling Windows for the trillionth time. Back to the issue of ratio, that's a whopping 25% of the company if we have 16 employees, and 22% of the company if we have 18 employees. I'd say it's many computer people for a company this small. But then again, computers are taking over so many roles that used to be performed by humans that more humans are needed to program and run the darn things.

Hmmm.... what's worse? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716451)

A 1:7 ratio between IT-people and salespeople in a Non-IT company, or a ration of 7:1 in an IT-company?

I'm not really sure. But I can vouch that the latter is really, really bad.

4 in 1000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716461)

1000 mostly part-time employees to an IT staff of 4 people. It's the restaurant business. We don't really have any management that is actively involved with IT, so we tend to get things done quick.

I believe... (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716475)

...that at the company where I work (privately held defense contractor), it is on the order of 20:1 or higher, but I really do not know for certain. I work at a small satellite R&D office; our situation is rather different than that of the company as a whole since we are entirely focused on R&D, whereas the home office has a significant manufacturing aspect as well.

We have no full-time IT staff in our office, but several of us deal with IT issues as a sideline (it probably represents about 10% of what I do in a typical work week, and a similar percentage of overall staff hours in our office). The home office is totally Windows-centric, whereas we (in our office) are running a mix of Windows and Linux infrastructure, with Linux playing an increasingly prominent role.

Nothing wrong with that. (1)

Mr. Ayo (30382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716487)

The ideal ratio is of employees to IT is 22:7

CAD Support (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716495)

Coincidentally, I did a quick check yesterday and found a 53-1 ratio (i.e., 53 people in the building as "customers"), but that's dependent on whether a similarly-skilled friend is available to help out.

Most "customers" are very reasonable, but those that aren't, well...I'm not up to making it BOFH time.

[I decided to move into this role after almost 30 years as a designer and now I'm appreciating what admins have to deal with]

Two points (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716505)

Can you name a single business function that isn't dependent upon Information Technology? We are the common thread that ties all business functions together.

My second point reflects the previous commenter - that this must be a highly regulated industry with numerous safeguards. This creates 2x the IT workforce for any job function such that the inadvertent activities of one worker does not compromise an entire system. Much like in the federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies - it takes at least two people to get one task done. This way one worker can't open up a firewall port to enable remote desktop/vnc/pcanywhere to a system - for the sake of convenience in getting a really important task done - and in doing so introduces a breach to the network by providing the conduit for infection (example based upon a real example). By having such divided responsibilities with checks and balances, if ONE person were able to accomplish this task, this prevents an uneducated user from making a mistake that causes a breach - they must prove they know enough to subvert the security system which in turn proves their intent to subvert the security system - and can therefore be terminated, demoted, or charged criminally with improper handling of classified information.

This is the very reason you do not hear about IT workers being brought up on spy charges.

My brother was laid off from one of the nations largest banks for this very reason. He oversaw the Oracle database that cleared ACH transactions and he also wrote the code that identified 'suspicious' purchases based upon previous card activity and brought the card up for review or suspension. He had full unfettered access to the database, including the logs. They replaced him with 3 people. Inefficient? Yes. Expensive? Yes. But much less expensive than had one co-worker discover his password, compromised his account and caused billions in losses from shipping account info overseas. They told him at the time he was laid off that they would welcome him back to the bank after 9 months, long enough to put different security measures in place and have him in a different, yet related position.. it was never that he personally was a threat, but you can see that he could possibly be a weak link in the chain.

He is now coding software document management components for the SIPRNET and working in a TS environment.

Mine seems pretty thin in comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716519)

We're at something like 400:70000 or 1:175

It's really hard to make an accurate judgement (1)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716559)

For example, at my current employer, we theoretically have 6 full-time programmers, 2 full time and 1 part time hardware guys, and a couple of co-ops in a company with 800 local people. However at the corporate level there's a whole other set of programmers, admins, and so on, and then there are application analysts in a couple of other departments.

Basically what I'm saying is, in a big enough organization (and big enough isn't really that big), the number of in IT isn't really an indicator of the number of working IT staff.

Wholesale Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716585)

I work for a Canadian sub of a global apparel company. In our country there are 3 IT Staff for 150 users. That's a 50:1 Ratio, and I'm not counting warehouse staff...
Globally there are about 5500 people with email addresses with 250 being IT staff for a ratio of ~20:1

Thanks /. I think it's time I tell the IT director we need a new body ;)

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716589)

At my company we employ zero IT staff (150 employees). I am the IT staff, but I am not employed as such. Considering that 95% of our work is "data-based"/"processing-based" I find it kind of crazy; but what can I do? We have an idiot in our admin building that makes these hugely overcomplicated Excel spreadsheets that *ugh* link to other spreadsheets that each have a million individual (ok, I am exaggerating) worksheets in them. This is our, supposed, IT guy. I do c/c++/sql hourly, but I am just a researcher and am not capable of writing these 1.2 million worksheet multi-tier spreadsheets. I'd do something more sane (like, hello, a database).

San Francisco System Admin (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716623)

And the city of San Francisco had only *one* admin with the passwords? Maybe they should have had more to prevent the 8-day hijacking.

Depends on the company (5, Informative)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716627)

It really depends on the company and the user base. I've worked in a lot of different environments with a lot of different layouts.

I interned as a developer at a 35 person company in Japan that had 0 IT staff. It was full of developers with a few marketing and business people, and everyone was responsible for managing their own workstation. There were a few knowledgeable employees who helped others with computer problems, but no full-time staffers. E-mail / groupware was outsourced to a third party provider. There was no central authentication or anything of the sort. Surprisingly, the system worked pretty well, although some of the development practices were a bit outdated -- but that's really an orthogonal issue.

I worked at another company here in Vancouver with a similar setup. They had a totally heterogeneous computing environment, users generally manage their own machines (though the IT department provided a base software layout). They did however have a full time IT staff of 4 for 250 employees, and there was some degree of central auth, as well as stuff like databases and our own mail server. There was also a fairly large group of non-technical users, whose machines were completely handled by one of the IT staffers.

Another example, I worked as a contractor at another company here in Vancouver approximately 1200 employees in size. At one point we had 10 satellite offices, and 8 remote IT people, with another 15 full time at the main office here. Everything was large scale.. lots of Oracle databases, racks and racks of NetApps, tons of servers, Unix workstations, a full parallel Windows environment. Huge and complicated.

Currently I'm at a small company of just over 20 employees. However, we have 3 people who are full time "IT". This is to support our highly technical user base of scientists and in-house software developers, and we also have an 80-node compute cluster to run, as well a surprisingly elaborate array of services for the users. However, the need to have 3 staff is mostly because of the different roles to fill. One of us takes care of most of the desktop and user-facing things such as VPN, email, etc. The other two take care of running the simulation systems, maintaining the Unix environment, and working with the developers to develop the software for the cluster and vice-versa.

So as you can see, just in my experience, I can provide four vastly different examples. Every business is different. There's no one formula that can fit all environments. It really depends on your user base and business need.

Merely depends on how HR defines it (2, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716629)

Different companies classify jobs as IT or not, depending on their policies. Ww might all agree that support staff count as IT workers, your place may have outsourced it's developers. Alternatively, there may be 5000 help-desk/telesales staff that get counted as "IT" (well, they work with IT, so that counts - doesn't it?).

The short answer is that there is no answer - although it is my experience that the more different departments there are in the IT organisation, the less efficient it is.

where I work we have 2 of 70 or 1/5th (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716635)

of the ratio of the company in question ...and I'm not one of 'em. Specialty chemical company, so no reason to have a lot of IT staff.

Worst ratio I have done (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716641)

Working for ******* (Unnamed contracting firm), 5:1000. That's right, the ratio is 1:200. How we even lived through this sort of hell is interesting, not to mention most of us at the end of the day could only go home and pass out.

25:1200 (1)

AngryElmo (848385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716651)

1200 staff across 16 sites are supported by 25 IT people in my organisation. The majority of those are on the helpdesk. We have 6 back office (servers/network etc) staff, 2 administrative (including the CIO) and the remainder are either fully helpdesk or various degrees between helpdesk and technical.

When 25% time... (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716663)

is spent on Project Management; 25% time on reports and meetings; 25% on keeping the old heterogeneous systems running with patches and glue code and refurbished parts; and 25% on research and testing to keep up with the ever faster evolving new software/hardware/licenses/versions, what IT staff has time to actually perform a system change?

It depends in part on your definition of "IT" (3, Insightful)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716683)

What is IT? Does it include desktop PC installation and maintenance? Running the help desk? The guy who helps fix the copier when it's jammed? The guy who runs the network cables through the ceiling? The gal who programs the PBX and voicemail system? The group doing web design and website maintenance for the marketing department?

Different companies would regard all, some, or none of these as "IT" functions and all, some, or none the people who do them as "IT staff". So it depends in large part on your definition of "IT".

That being said, at my main client (a privately-held manufacturer with about 600 US employees and a couple hundred more overseas), there are only ten IT employees - meaning ALL of IT, including of the functions listed above. Plus two half-time consultants. Three employees do PC installation/maintenance/troubleshooting, one takes the help desk calls (and fixes the copiers/phones), five do programming, web, and database wrangling, and one is the manager (and also the network administrator). One of the part-time consultants does mail and system admin (me), and one does more web design. No other outsourcing, and most of the applications are home-grown custom jobs, so there's no large vendor support for anything. In all, it's about 11 FTEs.

This is a manufacturing company and like most of those that I've seen, they run a very lean operation. IT gets what it needs, but nothing more.

Now, a much more useful metric in my mind is "percentage of total company sales spent on IT". I think it's about 2% for this company (though again, definitions of "IT" are tricky). I've heard that 5% is a more typical number for most companies in the US, speaking across a broad range of industries. Anyone know a source for more concrete numbers?

Around 50:1 at a large multinational (1)

mercurialmale (928377) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716685)

Till 2004 I worked at a multinational company with ~22,000 employees of which ~450 were IT staff. But these numbers don't tell the whole story.
The company had offices in around 130 countries, many with only a small staff. There were a few local IT personnel in most countries (included in the 450). They did on-site troubleshooting, facilities and hardware installations, etc.
Most IT staff were in 4 locations around the world, providing follow-the-sun helpdesk support. We also had operations, application development/ support, management and strategy folks at these 4 locations. The company maintained a ton of internally developed business systems, including some written in COBOL way back when.
The company was (and is) almost entirely a Microsoft/ Windows environment. In the operations team, we did everything via AD and Group Policy using terminal services/ RDP. Really, it wasn't too painful.

Small Norwegian Municipality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716691)

Somewhere around 1500 employees - 8 IT workers. Varies a little - when I started 6 years ago we were 4 - For a short while we were 11.

It works ok. :)

When IT is almost entirely outsourced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716699)

In my current company, total staff=12000 and IT staff = 10 !
Almost all IT therefore is outsourced to several providers.
They have various platforms but implementing SAP at the moment.

transaction processing (1)

m0e (55482) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716735)

My company does transaction processing (think prepaid and reloadable debit cards, gift cards, etc) and as such our business is heavily IT-related.

I think we have something along the lines of 600 staff -- of those about 100-150 of those are IT-related. This isn't including project managers or anyone else who interface with IT who don't do IT-related work on a regular basis. 1:5.5-6 ratio.

I think it breaks down to something like this (my numbers are probably way off, I haven't seen an org chart in forever):

IT Operations (non-management)
Server Infrastructure: 7
Network Infrastructure: 5
Application Support (all tiers, from internal apps to customer-facing apps): ~20
DBAs: 3
Data analyst types (information systems): 10
Global Architecture (the omniscient overlords who guide IT ops): 4
Helpdesk: 4
NOC: 10-12

Overall IT Software Development (coders/QA/etc): ~40ish

Management: ~12

I'm on the operations side so the count on the software side is all guessing. The rest of the employee makeup includes folks such as accounting, finance, sales, marketing, call centers, PMs, etc. Essentially the business breaks down into either folks who get the money to our doorstep, folks who make sure the money keeps flowing, and folks who make the systems that make the money flow.

The numbers can be misleading though... not only because such a ratio isn't the best quantifier -- for my company's business, a ratio of IT staff to others doesn't really tell you much other than that our business is heavily technology-oriented. For example, we have a high number of application support analysts compared to the rest of IT ops but the ratio of support analysts to business customers is something along the lines of 1:1-2000 depending on certain factors. The network group fields requests from both external business customers and internal staff so our support ratio is something like 1:75 (much lower than app support thanks to how different external customers interface with us). The sysadmins manage a ~650 system (physical/virtual/zoned) environment at the tune of about 1:90 overall... but that's not necessarily true since that group includes a couple of folks who work primarily on *NIX and another guy whose sole reason for living is to manage about 250TB of SAN storage. The DBAs... well I'm not even going to go there.

I think, in managerspeak, the phrase is, "the number you get depends on the metric you're trying to track." For my company, its size, and its structure, the ratio is pretty reasonable. We probably have far too many developers but most of that's somewhat due to the amount of concurrent projects rolling at any given moment along with the utterly insane complexity of some of the code they're writing and maintaining. As far as other industries... hard to tell. Depends on the technology needs of the company and/or the amount it is technology-driven.

My company (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716745)

14 Developers, 4 Sysadmins, 4 support crew, 2 managers. Company of 3000 in 6 spread-out locations, not including 5 beyond our borders

5000 IT workers? Out of 35.000? (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716775)

I don't believe it. Maybe your friend was mistaken, but I believe this can't be.

Unless they are working in R&D, in which case they are not really IT, albeit their field of expertise may be IT. I worked for several years in R&D for a very large company in the field of mobile phones and mobile phone networks, and although my job looked like some kind of unix administration, it still was implementation/development. I wasn't in charge of a live infrastructure, I was configuring the storage OS services on our products' platforms.

The whole bigger than sum of it's parts (1)

geirnord (150896) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716783)

As many are saying, there is no this as a correct ratio. However, I believe that the ratio is and should be different between large and small businesses.

The larger the business, more advanced IT features are (usually) required.

Example: A 50 user comany can manage with one IT guy full time. As this company getts bigger more applications and servers are introdused cause more spesialization to take place, requiering more people.

At some time availability becomes critical, and IT shifts changes from 6-18 hours to 24/7 requiering even more people. Even larger firms introduce the dreaded CIO and more beaurocracy, decreasing productivity and leading to the hireing of even more people.

At this point the IT departement can be considered a company in it's own right, providing services to the "host-company". And, as every one knows, a company gets more bloat and inefficiency as it grows...

1 in 7??? (1)

alaffin (585965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716791)

Wow. 1 in 7.

I work at a medium sized company that (with recent acquisitions) has a staff probably close to eight or nine hundred spread out over offices in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, British Columbia Canada, Ontario Canada and London England. Our IT staff? Two in the head office in Ontario (my boss and myself), one in Pennsylvania, one in California, and a part time hire in Florida. And no outsourcing (well, sometimes in Vancouver or the UK, where we sometimes need help now rather than sending someone out by plane). So that's what? 4.5 in 800. 1 in 177.

We are, however, fortunate to have a reasonably competent staff - including a VP who was promoted out of our IT department and another who has run the show at other companies.

But 1 in 7? Me thinks she's including something different in that figure - people who are working in something IT related, but not directly maintaining the company infrastructure. We have a department geared toward propping up clients who lack effective IT support (with another three employees). Technically they're IT I suppose, but a fat lot of good they do in house when they're jetting off to god knows what part of the continent to set up/fix a client's network because our clients don't have anyone on their staff and refuse to contract a local company for it.

Mythic Man Month (1)

mbaGeek (1219224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716799)

The ratio of "IT employees" to "non-IT employees" is a definition game.

The purpose of having anybody around (you know - "employees") is to help the "employer" accomplish the mission (hopefully there is a mission - therefore ALL employees are in "customer" support (then we have to define the customer - yada,yada,yada)

Smaller organizations/departments are always more efficient. As more "employees" are added - more time has to be spent communicating between employees (i.e. more time is spent on activities that don't directly support the "mission").

Eventually you reach a point where adding additional employees is actually counter productive

"The Mythic Man Month" makes this point about software development but it is true in general...

Medium-sized tech company (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716803)

Subsidiary of a larger company that deals in medical technology. Size around 100 people, mostly development, production and user training. Sales is done by a division of the larger company.

We have 5 permanent employees that do exclusively IT, two of those infrastructure, three software development for new products. Additionally, consultants in varying numbers.
At the moment, a new product with more than the usual software development need is going on, and I estimate the total number of IT related consultants (including offsite) at 15-20

9 to 350 - Local Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24716811)

350 users
1 IT Manager
4 app dev
2 desktop tech
1 purchasing/desktop tech
1 help desk supervisor/tech
1 network admin

All Windows

How about IT Managers / overall employees? (2, Interesting)

Tyrannicalposter (1347903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716819)

How about IT Managers / overall employees or IT employees. Now that would be interesting.

Dumbest question ever? (1)

ydra2 (821713) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716821)

The ratio of IT workers to rest of company depends on the business. A corporate farm might have 1 or 2 IT workers and depending on season, 5 to 500 non-IT workers. A furniture factory might have 1 IT worker for every 1000 production employees. A food processing company might need a higher ratio because of the seasonal and perishable nature of the business. A shipping business would also need a robust IT staff to track its shipments and scheduling.

I'm quite sure that General Mills or Nestle corprations have large IT staffs in the hundreds, approaching thousands, but they have hundreds of thousands just working in the farms, factories, logistics, (people that manage physical stuff, like factories and storage), transport and shipping, and so on. For large corporations like that, the IT ratio is actually quite small because a lot of it is done by other smaller entities with little or no IT staff, like the independent farmer or rancher that does all his bookeeping the old fashioned way. on paper, except for bribes.

So the final answer is that some businesses, like server co-locating service require about 1-1 IT to non-IT and some, like low tech manufacturing require 0-infinity IT to non-IT ratio.

In other words, the question is meaningless.

betting company (1)

stalker314314 (1164475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716849)

Betting company in 4 countries - in central we have 1:3 ratio (~30 IT members), but overall, including our locals in those countries where employees type betting tickets, security, managers..., ratio is 1:50

about 3% IT staff (1)

nr1 (164056) | more than 6 years ago | (#24716861)

Multi-billion $ Professional Service corp with high focus on IT related services and consulting.

180.000 staff overall in about 140 offices globally. At least 2/3 of staff are mobile at client sites 90+% of their time. Most have full admin access to their own machine.

Internal IT service organisation has about 5000 stuff (1:36, about 3%)

Mostly Microsoft shop with WinXP workstations (Vista rollout in progress) and Win2003/2008 servers.

Quick facts from 2007 (company grows by several 10k people each year):

146,000 laptops deployed
4,737 devices monitored
6,700 servers managed
4,100 megabytes network bandwidth managed

10,000 unique visitors to Intranet Portal per day
24,000 unique visitors to external website per day
5,000 unique visitors use the âoeFindâ feature each day

280 global applications supported
496 local applications supported
1 global instance of SAP R/3, SAP Business Intelligence (BI), SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (running on Win2003)
40,000 named SAP users between SAP R/3, SAP BI and SAP CRM
Database Size: SAP R/3 = 2.3 terabytes, SAP BI = 2 terabytes

149,000 e-mail accounts
6,100,000 e-mail messages per day
125 kilobytes is average message size
8,600 Microsoft SharePoint sites
4,100 BlackBerry devices
21,000,000 conference call minutes per month

1,007,000 resolved incidents per year through help desk, eSupport, Web chat and local support

I work in client facing Tech Consulting, so not part of the internal IT, however, I am very satisfied with their services.

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