Is IT Head Count a Relevant Benchmark?

I posted this question to an ASAE list earlier this week in response to a discussion of average IT positions per staff: do IT staffing averages serve much purpose these days?

My opinion is that, with so many options for outsourcing some functions combined with the increasing role of technology in operations (countervailing trends to a certain extent), I don’t think an average is going to be all that meaningful without a lot of additional controlling data that isn’t available in most studies. Similar organizations can have very different approaches to how much they use technology and how aggressively they outsource commodity functions. An average IT head count number won’t tell you anything useful on its own.

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