How many IT staff does it take to run...?

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by shredder, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I was reading the news this morning, which included the casual browsing of an article relating to a government ministry (in New Zealand, as it happens).

    During the course of the article, it was mentioned that the ministry had 300-400 "permanent and temporary" IT staff.

    "300 to 400??!", I thought. What are they running, a cluster of COBOL Death Stars or something?? Or maybe their network consists of human runners transferring the packets by hand? :p

    But I'm a noob about this stuff really, so perhaps my incredulity is unfounded.

    It's just that I read about some of the one-man-army types in here, who sound like they can single-handedly (well, virtually - I know they probably have some staff) design, implement and maintain giant corporate networks.

    So what do you guys reckon? How many IT staff does it take - ballpark - for, say:

    -an office of 10 (presumably, "1")
    -5 offices, 100 total
    -100 offices, 5000 total seats
    -etc...

    What's your impression when you read that a small govt dept takes 300-400 IT staff to run? Does it sound ridiculous to you, or just par for the course?

    I know there are so many variables, it may be a pointless question. But discuss if you wish..
     
  2. CoByau

    CoByau Member

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    I work for a Government Organisation that services over 35,000 end users ....... Many more PC's and Servers etc.

    A large number of stuff make up the internal running of the IT organisation as a whole....... Payroll, HR, Management, Ordering/Accounts

    Then you have Customer Engagement, Project Managers, Service Management

    Then you have the actual Techs that fix things - or deliver new projects as they come up.

    In short ........... there's a lot more people required to run an IT organisation than Uncle Bob and his 54 Linux boxes

    (sometimes to the organisations own detriment however LOL too many bloody layers!)


    EDIT: oh btw ... I Think our total Employee count is around the ~600 mark
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    It depends on a lot of things. I find large private corporates and government departments generally over-employ staff and end up bloated.

    Conversely smaller private businesses tend to under-employ, and there's always a knowledge vacuum when key figures leave.

    I was watching some videos about CERN the other day, and through some fantastic automation they've gotten their systems to staff ratio to some pretty impressive numbers. Definitely a fraction of what I see in large Australian companies, both private and public.

    But then again, Aussie corporate and public sector IT isn't a benchmark for anything. IMHO it's downright pathetic.
     
  4. CoByau

    CoByau Member

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    QFT ..... only been in the industry for 8 years, but can definitely say this stands up across Corporate and Government lol
     
  5. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Probably about 8-12 hours a month, sometimes less. I have some clients with that staff (and 3 sites) who i see probably once a quarter for 2-3 hours, and give maybe 10 hours phone support a year.

    I've done it with 1-2, with offices in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Wellington. We had 170 staff at one point.

    100 Offices is a bit hard, and you'd never see 100 Offices/5000 seats unless you're talking like a Bank Branches or something. Then there is tons of sub-contractors etc in each of the towns to do physical hardware swaps etc.

    But I've seen/been a part of 5000 done (across maybe 30 offices) with 40-60. If you add admin staff for the whole company, bump that to 100 - but only 40-60 were delivering service to the client (including projects, client relationships, etc).

    -etc...

    Depends on what they have, whether you include short term contractors or not, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  6. MrvNDMrtN

    MrvNDMrtN Member

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    We have 18 perm staff looking after 500 people.

    80% of our servers are virtualised and only use common off the shelf apps as we have about 90% penetration of thin clients in HQ and all remote offices.

    6 x Helpdesk
    8 x Server/Apps
    1 x Networks
    1 x BCP
    2 x Managers

    I look after telephony, internetworking and security... really should be a 2 man job as it's a key risk for them and i can't just go on holidays.

    I do get paid above average though :sick:
     
  7. chip

    chip Member

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    Without knowing how the total number of bodies there are in the org and what the org does/how it operates, how can anyone justify passing judgement on it?
     
  8. T-O-D

    T-O-D Member

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    While total staff is certainly a figure to compare, you also have to take into account the tools that the IT people use.

    I've worked in an IT department before where the IT manager specifically stated that he will not implement software tools for deployment/monitoring etc because "It makes life too easy, and I prefer feet on the ground". Needless to say, the staff hated him for it.

    I now work in a department where we HAD a licensed deployment system, but the Infrastructure manager has decided to go the free/script route which causes no end of headaches for some staff, and it's mostly to save a few $$$ instead of purchasing a deployment suite. What they don't seem to have realised is all the extra work involved and the HR cost associated with that.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    shredder

    shredder Member

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    I understand that. But putting aside that individual case, I still think the general notion is an interesting one for discussion.
    I imagine a lot of places are breeding grounds for inefficiencies because the ideal knowledge just isn't there, isn't available, or affordable.

    And many businesses are run by people who are perfectly great at their business but have no regard for, or ability (/time) to really understand, IT.
     
  10. GreenBeret

    GreenBeret Member

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    Out of those 400 IT staff, I'd say 100 are in operations, the rest are management and business analysts (i.e the useless ones who don't actually do anything).
     
  11. bcann

    bcann Member

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    in places where i've worked, the number of IT to people has varied extensively.

    Where i've done managed IT, the number before they seem to be big enough to require there own IT guy (and i say that loosely) seems to be around 50-60.

    Some places have been several hundred to 1 dedicated IT guy, me i prefer around 80-100 to 1 IT guy (and by this i mean actual on the ground field tech).
     
  12. power

    power Member

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    2 IT staff here supporting a few hundred.

    I seem to have a bit of spare time too :)
     
  13. Linkin

    Linkin Member

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    ~500 seats where I work, multi-national.

    1x Sys Admin
    1x IT Manager
    1x Soon-to-be Systems Architect
    1x Service Desk Coordinator
    1x Desktop support (me)
    2-4x Overseas/Callcentre staff
     
  14. Ding.Chavez

    Ding.Chavez Member

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    1 IT support per 150 devices, not people.

    We have 300 odd people, and they have 1 - 2 devices each, most are actually 3, so we cater for 900 so that would take us to 6 staff... we have 3 ... just hiring another now. So we are a bit off ...
     
  15. Cape_Horn

    Cape_Horn Member

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    It may help if they define IT Staff
    Do they mean techs?
    or just Sysadmins (add in non-specific staff, and an environment that runs multiples of 2k3/2k8/solaris/aix/hp-ux/linux - you don't usually have big environments with multiple OS's with one guys who knows all of the OS to an expert level)
    who does the storage work, how much storage do they have, on how many platforms? do the the sysadmins do all storage work? or is there a specific guy/s?
    How big was this environment? What about the Networking?
    Do they manage the data centre, or do they contract out to a DC company?
    Database support?
    Backups?
    Application support?
    Do they write their own in house code?
    what about the testers for their code?
    Management?
    BA?

    It all adds up. Depending on their size and what they do, I can see 300-400 staff could be valid. I can also see that they could say 'IT Staff' and mean a lot of people not in a typical 'IT Role'
     
  16. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    As already stated, way too hard to know without looking at in detail. Some orgs will dev in house apps and save heaps in software costs, others will outsource heaps. Some orgs are in low risk industries, others need very long term data retention and accessibility. Certain industries will also deal with mostly MS Word users while others are full of power users or perhaps industry specific software.

    Gov dept are probably also dealing with heavy auditing requirements, which can cause a lot of 'paperwork', requesting approvals for everything, all corespondence going into a specific system. Then they likely have to cope with politicians restructuring them after every election. The list goes on.

    IT is not just file sharing, emails and backup.
     
  17. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Without knowing what their IT requirements are and how many users and application they support it is impossible to state whether it is over or under.

    But having worked government before I would image it is very middle management heavy.
     
  18. mooboyj

    mooboyj Member

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    About to hit 400 odd desktop and laptops, plus ~14 servers. 8 different images and I am now moving everything I can to SCCM 2012 with ZERO training and setting up a Linux PC lab:wired: And I'm doing it all at a lot less money than the previous guy:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    My employer has just starting outsourcing services and will continue to do so when there is no skill in that area in-house. Funnily enough there is also ZERO FUCKING TRAINING:mad:
     
  19. BeStRaFe

    BeStRaFe Member

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    2.5 IT Sysadmins to ~ 30 Staff..
     
  20. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    When I worked for a large finance company here in Tokyo "IT" took up over 1/4 of the floor space (1 whole floor out of 4 in-use). Granted, a significant amount of those people were developers, but we still had quite a head count.
     

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