In most businesses, the ratio of employees/servers will reduce to a value much lower than one, but in successful online businesses, it can be 30:1 or more. What's the best number to aim for?
Server picture from Shutterstock
Stanford University lecturer Timothy Chou discussed this issue during his presentation at CA Expo in Melbourne last week. For the majority of businesses, the ratio will typically be between 0.1 and 0.4. (In emerging economies, it can be much lower; in Brazil the ratio is 0.04, while in India it is typically 0.02.)
However, the numbers are much higher in online service providers such as Facebook (30:1) and Google (50:1). In service industries, that number is likely to rise, Chou suggested.
"I think in the future every company is a software company, an information company," Choi said. "A service economy is one driven by information personal and relevant to you. Those companies that are going to be successful are going to be the ones running at 30:1 or 50:1."
You might not be aiming that high, but it's a reality that adding servers is much cheaper than adding headcount, especially if you use a cloud provider. What's the ratio in your organisation?