Ratio of IT Support Staff to Employees Falls Short

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<p><strong>Menlo Park, Calif. &mdash; Aug. 29</strong><br />Employees accustomed to waiting for help troubleshooting a PC, accessing company network folders or checking e-mail won&rsquo;t be surprised to hear that the technical support function of many businesses is understaffed.  </p><p>In a new survey, chief information officers (CIOs) polled said their companies&rsquo; technical support teams are, on average, 40 percent smaller than they optimally should be.<br /><br />The national poll includes interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.  </p><p>It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.<br /><br />CIOs were asked, &ldquo;What is the ratio of internal end-users to technical support employees at your company?&rdquo;  </p><p>The mean response was 136:1.<br /><br />Additionally, CIOs also were asked, &ldquo;What would be the ideal ratio of internal end-users to technical support employees at your company?&rdquo;  </p><p>The mean response was 82:1.<br /><br />Survey results also indicated CIOs from the largest companies (greater than 1,000 employees) were closest to their ideal level of technical support, with a ratio of end- users to IT staff of 118:1 versus an ideal of 82:1.  </p><p>Farthest from their ideal were CIOs from midsize firms (250 to 499 employees), who said that their ratio of end-users to IT support staff is 131:1, when in a perfect world it would be 64:1.   <br /><br />&ldquo;Many managers, particularly those with organizations experiencing growth, are realizing their technical support or help desk teams can no longer keep up with increasing end-user needs,&rdquo; said Katherine Spencer Lee, Robert Half Technology executive director. &ldquo;An understaffed technical support function can lead to a frustrated and less productive workforce, which ultimately affects the company&rsquo;s bottom line.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lee also said organizations with ongoing, proactive information technology recruiting strategies are in the best position to provide staff the resources they need to succeed.  </p><p>&ldquo;It is particularly difficult to find skilled technical support professionals in the current competitive hiring environment,” Lee said. “Employers are now using multiple recruiting tactics, including placing want ads in a variety of places, networking and enlisting the help of a specialized staffing firm, to help ensure a consistent pipeline of talent.&rdquo;</p>

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