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Archive for January, 2009

ITIL – Staffing Ratios

ITIL Benchmarks

ITIL Benchmarks

In a study or 125 companies in the United Kingdom,  researchers found that the “IT Heads in relation to the Number of Users” was a median of 6% for ITIL adopters and 5% for ITIL rejecters.

From the same study, training costs for ITIL adoption were on average £930 per IT head.

Source: “The ITIL Experience – Has it been worth it?”, Noel Bruton, Bruton Consultancy, Spring 2004. See: http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:HIwsdVqpREAJ:www.aaromba.com/assets/pdf/whitepapers/The-ITIL-Experience.pdf+ITIL+Experience+-+Has+it+been+worth+it%3F&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

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According to Tim Bryce (Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates),

If systems analysis is performed correctly, programmer productivity should improve as analysts should be providing good specifications for application assignments. In the absence of systems analysts, considerable time is lost by the programmer who has to second-guess what the end-user wants. Inevitably, this leads to rewriting software over and over again. Good data and processing specs, as provided by a systems analyst, will improve programmer productivity far better than any programming tool or technique. This means programmers are the beneficiaries of good systems analysis.

This brings up an interesting point, what should be the ratio of Systems Analysts to Programmers in a development organization? Frankly, I believe there should be twice as many analysts than programmers. By concentrating on the upfront work, programming is simplified.

Source: Bryce, Tim, “The Ratio of Analysts to Programmers”, Toolbox for IT, August 24, 2006.

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drupalAccording to a benchmark test run by John Quinn &  Cailin Nelson,

Drupal systems perform very well on amazon ec2, even with a simple single machine deployment. The larger hardware types perform significantly better, producing up to 12,500 pages per minute. this could be increased significantly by clustering as outlined here.  The apc op-code cache increases performance by a factor of roughly 4x.  The average response times were good in all the tests. The slowest tests yielded average times of 1.5s. again, response times where significantly better on the better hardware and reduced further by the use of apc.

Amazon uses Xen based virtualization technology to implement ec2. The cloud makes provisioning a machine as easy as executing a simple script command. when you are through with the machine, you simply terminate it and pay only for the hours that you’ve used. ec2 provides three types of virtual hardware that you can instantiate.

Source: John & Cailin Blog, “lamp performance on the elastic compute cloud: benchmarking drupal on amazon ec2″, January 28, 2008.

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A recent posting on the Spiceworks Community forum revels IT staff to user ratios ranging from 100:1 to 20:1 based upon different factors such as number of different locations, hardware and software diversity, proficiency of the users, hours for direct support, help desk availability, etc. The best posting came from Eric Osterholm. He reported:

“Awhile back I worked for a great Consulting Company called Collective Technologies (a spinoff from Pencom Systems); at it’s height, there were over 350 Consultants in the field. The topic of this ratio came up time and time again…

Based on what we saw at our client sites, the consensus was that a helpdesk (someone else doing servers and network) ratio was about 100:1 with proper automation technologies (imaging\patching\helpdesk\etc). For admins supporting servers and helpdesk, the ratio closed to 50:1. For those supporting everything, the numbers were all over the board… from 100:1 to 20:1. The one constant we saw was that the more mature shops adopted automation tools to make their current staff more efficient, reducing these ratios.”

The entire forum post can be found at: http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/7870?query=ratio+of+users+it

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zohoServiceXen, an IT firm located in Atlanta, Georgia, has provided six (6) interactive spreadsheets to assist in IT benchmarking activities.  Each spreadsheet is a shared Zoho Sheet.  See below:

  1. Data Center Security Audit
  2. New Employee Cost Calculator
  3. Server Buy vs. Lease Calculator
  4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator
  5. Virtualization Fit Tool

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