Budgets are finally beginning to thaw for IT staffing. As you make the case for increasing head count, how many IT professionals do you need to run your company, and in which IT disciplines should your team members be experts? It helps to have a handle on how your peers are staffing their organizations.

According to Meta Group Inc.’s most recent research on this topic, the average U.S. firm budgets 3.53 per cent of revenue to IT, and the average number of employees supported by one IT staff member is 120.3. While these numbers are useful indicators, Meta and other recruitment experts say the actual staffing levels of an organization depend on the company culture and its industry.

In the financial industry, for example, one in five employees could be in IT. In contrast, IT employees in the transportation industry make up just 1.89 per cent of their organizations, according to Meta.

Some companies calculate the number of systems administrators they need according to the number of servers they have. Typically, there is one systems administrator for every seven to 15 servers, says John Piot, executive VP at staffing firm Impact Innovation Group.