Is there a rule of thumb for the number of IT staff to the number of end users? No.
No two companies are the same. If that were the case there would be a hard and fast rule we all would follow. So comparing the ratios of man to machine will not determine the correct ratio. IT staffing ratios might come into play in larger companies. Efficiencies of scale coupled with segregation of job responsibilities allow larger companies to trend those ratios to some pretty high numbers. But even in these cases I would be cautious.
Take a step back and ask the following questions:
- How many systems do you need to manage?
- How many customized systems do you need to manage?
- Is your business complex?
- What is the geographic structure of your business and locations?
- Do you have a standard operating environment in place?
- What is the level of your infrastructure (laptops/ pcs/ servers/ printers/ backuptools, connectivity ) etc?
- What is management’s approach, how much support do they want and in what time frame?
- How many help desk calls are you receiving?
- Are the help desk calls emergencies, regular maintenance, user errors?
- Are help desk calls occurring 24×7?
- Is there adequate backup to the handle workload when staff are sick, on vacation, etc?
Your answers above will determine the adequate number of IT staff to support your business environment.