Infrastructure - Advice & Support
How many ICT
Technicians do you need?
It is extremely difficult to identify the optimal number of ICT
Technicians for an institution. The
way technical support is conducted and the type and age of an ICT
infrastructure may be
different in every institution.
Although this means there is no solution to suit all institutions, there are a number of common
factors which should be considered when estimating Technician workload.
- The reliability of the network and components
If the institution has a new network that is set up correctly it is likely to create fewer incidents
and problems, thereby reducing the workload. Alternatively, if the institution has an older
network which is poorly set up, the workload is likely to be greater and will require more ICT
- The efficiency of technical support
If technical support follows a structured, proactive approach to managing and supporting ICT
eg, as set out in the Framework for ICT
Technical Support (FITS), fewer incidents and
problems are likely to occur which will reduce the workload. Alternatively, if technical support
is reactive the workload is likely to be greater requiring more technicians.
- The demands of ICT
If users have low ICT
confidence they will report more incidents and requests with technical
support. As a consequence the workload will be greater and may require more technicians.
Alternatively, if users are confident as a result of appropriate ICT
training reported incidents
and subsequent workloads will be reduced.
- How many incidents are fixed at first point of contact
If technical support have a Service Desk in place that fixes a high percentage of incidents at
first point of contact the required number of technicians will be reduced. Alternatively, if few
incidents are fixed at first point of contact the technical support team will need more
technicians to deal with the workload.
So what does this mean?
The optimal number of ICT
technicians will depend upon the type and nature of an
infrastructure and management.
As a rough guide, an institution with:
•a reliable network
•efficient technical support
confident and trained users
•a staffed Service Desk
may require as few as one technician for every 150 computers.
Alternatively, an institution with:
•an older network
•or inefficient technical support
•or users lacking confidence and training
•or no Service Desk/single point of contact
may require more than 1 technician for every 50 computers. This ratio is only indicative, so please read on for suggested next steps.
Institutions must consider how their individual circumstances affect a Technician’s workload. Implementing a structured approach for ICT
management and support (e.g. FITS) can reduce this workload, but aged networks, components and untrained users will continue to contribute
to a Technician’s work.
Ultimately, the question “How many Technicians do I need?” is less important than recognising where the Technician workload is coming from and considering how to deal with the source and reduce workloads in the future.