What's Your IT Staff To User Ratio?

I want to talk about ratios.  Ratios in the ITSP market are a good indicator of profit margins.  In the internal IT arena ratios represent maximizing ROI.    The ratio I am thinking most specifically about is that of staff to end-users.  How many endpoints can one staffer support?  This is where no matter what type of organization you are, you can begin to measure and/or quantify the cost or burden for support on a per unit basis.   Ratios will mean different things based on your situation but for most they are useful for one or more of the following:

  • Understanding headcount
  • Growth planning (strategic non technical, offices, cap ex, etc.)
  • System Capacity planning
  • Identifying overages (support costs, headcount, cap ex, etc)
  • Setting SLA’s (less staff means SLAs may need to slide)
  • Understanding your profit/loss origins (are you profitable at your current ratio?  What ratio do you need have?)
  • Budgeting (are you always over/under on certain line items in your budget?)

I challenge you to discover the ratios in your business that can lead to meaningful decision making.  The ratios may be staff to customers, staff to end users, staff to servers, staff to workstations, servers to workstation, infrastructure spend to users, training to profit, profit to hours, hours to profit, hours to cost.  You get the idea.  Get to know the ratios that matter most to you then be strategic about setting goals around those ratios.

I want to hear who has the best staff to user ratio.  I’ll start with Kaseya’s  1:150.
Sound off in the comments.  The best ratio will get featured here.

26 Responses to “What's Your IT Staff To User Ratio?”

  1. Mike Landman June 9, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Hey Bendar. Nice post!

    The 150:1 ratio at Kaseya….is that total staff ( all employees), or support staff (people who provide IT directly)?

  2. Brendan Cosgrove June 9, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks Mike. There are 2 IT staffers at Kaseya that support about 300 users globally.

  3. Gavin June 9, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Is that number of CLIENTS or number of END USERS?

  4. Brendan Cosgrove June 9, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    If you’re asking about the 300… its a round number of Kaseya employees.

  5. Ed Guyer June 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Brendan – Are those two employees support server infrastructure or just desktop support or both?

  6. Ed Guyer June 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    1:200 Servers+Desktops

  7. Brendan Cosgrove June 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Nice ratio Ed! 2 guys for servers+desktops at Kaseya.

  8. Ed, To answer your question – Kaseya’s 2 full-time IT staff that support all 300 people currently employed by Kaseya.

  9. Jonathon Johnston July 7, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    We have 5 helpdesk techs and 2 support techs, so 7 total. We manage 95 servers and 1029 workstations. Ratio of 1:160 machines

  10. Damian August 7, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    I work for a large Professional services company and manage a desktop support function so no server support, but we have a ratio of 1 engineer to 500 users. I have 11 engineers providing sofware and hardware support to 5500 users over 5 sites.

  11. jimmy September 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    i have always worked off the premise of 1:150 and from experience is seems about right.
    if they appear over worked, then I tend to help them automate some of their tasks through kaseya.

    • Brendan Cosgrove September 14, 2009 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks Jimmy! I would say that the 1:150 is a good ratio historically. I think Kaseya can help IT departments and MSP’s push well passed that though. Of course the nuances of each environment and SLA’s play a key role in how much that ratio can truly change.

  12. Jason October 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    We have 3 people, although one of those is our owner, so I’m not sure if he really counts 🙂 currently supporting 1000 endpoints (approx 920 desktops and 80 servers). So…1:330 😀

  13. Empee October 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Is there a standard ratio on support staff vs. clients/employees supported? or what is the acceptable ratio….

    • Brendan Cosgrove October 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

      I don’t know if there is a standard metric, but the more you can support with fewer staff means better productivity for IT depts or more profit for MSPs.

  14. RobP April 23, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Work for a major Investment Bank and we currently have a ratio of 1:440 and its a nightmare. That’s strictly Desktop Support for Trading, Developer and End user app support.

    • Brendan Cosgrove April 23, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      @RobP – Sorry to hear that’s a nightmare for you. Every enterprise network is different for sure, and supporting Trading, Dev, and End users probably means you’ve got a wide range of unique apps. What’s the biggest part of the nightmare for you?

      • Peter Durnil February 10, 2015 at 11:42 am #

        WOW! I am not sure if the replies make me happy or scared! We currently have 920 Kaseya agents per employee! This is based on role and their availability to answer inbound calls. For example and Network Tech is 100% available while a Field Tech is only 25% available. We have 2 Kaseya Admins so I am comfortable saying we are using the application at a high capacity!

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