End User Support IT vs Other IT Areas



  • @Dashrender and I were discussing this but I think it's a good discussion. We were talking about the ratios of end user support positions (help desk, deskside support) in a company compared to non-end user support positions (system admin, network admin, architect, DBA, application admins, etc.)

    Obviously in the SMB space, the majority of places have only one or two people wearing many hats. So this is "ratio of time" rather than "ratio of staff". But you get the idea.

    In the enterprise space, I typically see (and this is eyeballing) something like 10% of IT staff or less is end user support whereas non-end user support is 90% or more. Nearly all IT is infrastructure focused. End user support tends to be rare and often automated.

    In the SMB space, I feel like end user support tends to be something like 40-80% of time. The smaller you get, the bigger the ratio until at the one and two person shops it seems to approach 100%.

    Thoughts?



  • And as an MSP we see the same thing. If we support a five person business, basically all interaction is talking to an end user and helping them do something. We have to respond directly to the end users, have to help them on their schedule, work on their equipment, have customer service skills, etc.

    But get a 100 person company and a big portion of the MSP work is fixing switches, routers, servers, setting up VPNs, installing applications and other things that happen "on our own time" and don't require interacting with users.



  • @scottalanmiller said in End User Support IT vs Other IT Areas:

    But get a 100 person company and a big portion of the MSP work is fixing switches, routers, servers, setting up VPNs, installing applications and other things that happen "on our own time" and don't require interacting with users.

    My current company is 90 users, I spend most of my time either working on things like patch deployments or end user issues - printer won't print, website not working right, etc.

    Servers, VPNs firewall - these are things I rarely touch.

    I'm the backup for our EHR application, but frankly I spend less than 1% of my time on that as we have two other people who manage the application for the company - do you consider those people IT people?



  • @Dashrender said in End User Support IT vs Other IT Areas:

    I'm the backup for our EHR application, but frankly I spend less than 1% of my time on that as we have two other people who manage the application for the company - do you consider those people IT people?

    Application support is a standard IT task. Nothing non-IT about that.



  • We're a SMB but our ratio is closer to your enterprise scenario. Depending on the time of day, phase of moon, wind direction, star alignment it's around 20% helpdesk / 80% projects. Averaged over 3 staff.



  • I think we have 2-3 help desk guys (some work later hours when I'm not there, but it's definitely 4 or less), and 10 non-helpdesk people. If you include developers, then it's another 7-10 people.

    Somewhere around 1000 employees total, but a lot are factory labor so not sure how much they use equipment.



  • @stacksofplates said in End User Support IT vs Other IT Areas:

    I think we have 2-3 help desk guys (some work later hours when I'm not there, but it's definitely 4 or less), and 10 non-helpdesk people. If you include developers, then it's another 7-10 people.

    Somewhere around 1000 employees total, but a lot are factory labor so not sure how much they use equipment.

    So 3:10 is >30% end user support.



  • I think we fit in that SMB space as far as an IT department. We currently have less than 500 employees, but have about 120 users in our AD. Of those 120 users, 6 of us are in the IT department. 2 of these guys wear hats that encompass other departments as well. Typically, I spend half of my time doing user support and the other half is doing server-side support. Server administration for me might not be interacting the servers directly, but managing projects that would eventually impact the servers at some time in the future.


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