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.