by Kim S. Nash

Information Technology Budgets: Which Industry Spends the Most?

Nov 02, 20072 mins
BudgetingIT Leadership

The 2008 "State of the CIO" study shows that financial services companies spend big on IT as a percentage of revenue, and have the lowest IT staffer-to-user ratio. Who has the highest ratio? Non-profits.

At 10.5 percent, banks and financial services companies, by far, spend the biggest chunk of revenue on technology, but the government and education sectors also spend significantly. The question is, which industry is most efficient?

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Judging by one measure—the number of users supported by each IT staffer—education rules, with 48.3. Schools and colleges have all those iPod-wearing, wireless network-demanding students running around. Wholesale and retail IT pros are a close second on that scale, with 47.5—supporting, as they do, lots of full- and part-time store clerks and salespeople.

But are IT staff in education and retail that much more efficient, or just overworked? What are your thoughts? Comment below or e-mail me at

Spending on IT, By Industry

The 2008 State of the CIO asked IT leaders about their budgets, and how many users they have per IT employee.

Industry IT Budget as a Percent of Revenue Users per IT Staffer
Financial Services 10.5 15.7
Government 7.8 37.8
Education/nonprofit 6.2 48.3
Health Care 5.0 25.4
Wholesale and Retail 3.9 47.5
Manufacturing 3.4 40.9
Overall Sample 6.7 35.1

SOURCE: 2008 “State of the CIO” survey of 558 heads of IT. NOTE: Survey respondents in financial services, government, health care and wholesale/retail industries said they expect to be hiring IT staff in the next 12 months.