How big of an IT staff do I need?
How many IT people do I need on staff? We get this question a lot. I’m going to give you a very straightforward answer, with the up-front caveat that each organization is different and individual circumstances may vary.
The general rule of thumb we use is one full time IT person for every 100 end-users. This is true from about 75 to about 125 end-users.
An I.T. staff member supporting 100 people should be able to do so without using much time from I.T. service firms or other consultants. But, exactly one full time IT person is dangerous: too much specialized and critical knowledge will accumulate in one person’s head. If that person leaves or is asked to leave, you run the risk of unplanned downtime that is difficult and costly to recover from.(Click here for a white paper that has 3 questions to ask an I.T. employee that will help you move knowledge out of their head and into formal documentation.)
If you have less than 75 users, consider outsourcing your I.T. The right I.T. service firm can save you money, provide better service, and protect you against turn-over. (We believe this is true for up to about 400 users, but under 75 users is a slam-dunk.)
The biggest driver in how many I.T. employees you have will be how many I.T. employees your want. It sounds far-fetched: “I need the amount of I.T. employees that I decide I need??” But, technology exists to dramatically streamline the deployment and management of technology. You could choose to use all Web 2.0 services, such as Google Apps. You could contract with an I.T. infrastructure to deliver virtual desktops to all of your devices. You might outsource all of your I.T.
Each business has different objectives and constraints to consider when deciding how many I.T. people they need. I’d be happy to have a phone conversation with you – at no charge – to help you think through how best to organize the I.T. department at your business. Email me or call directly at (800) 920-0627 x1003.
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