Average Budget for IT


What is the average budget for an IT Department in an eCommerce Startup? Asssume they are nearly 2 years old and have solid revenues coming in

I'd like to know in terms of % of course. Also how many members would the IT department need to sustain both the internal network, website and various development/intranet servers?

IT Budget

asked Jun 22 '11 at 00:13
Cogito Ergo Sum
106 points
  • This is a bit vague of a question for anyone to answer. It's going to depend very much on the type and size of the eCommerce site. – Alan Barber 13 years ago
  • I agree, it's _way_ too vague. What's solid revenues? What kind of eCommerce? How many people do they have overall? – Alex Aotea Studios 13 years ago
  • Yes, far too vague. If you're GoToMeeting, where your product is online, IT is a huge part of the budget. If you're Zappo's, where you're selling physical goods, it's a vital but very small part of the budget. – Bob Murphy 13 years ago

3 Answers


Well most techies think something approaching 100% is good ... but really, its not.

It comes down to the individual profile of the company and where the key business effort is. It sounds like the tech is established and your in a steady growth / maintenance sort of phase, you should have a good pace down for sprints if your doing agile. If this is the case then the split should look something like:

  • Marketing / Sales : 30% - 40%. Now that you are established and have a key user base you are likely entering an expansion phase. This is where the marketing and sales divisions have to really beat the drum loudly, which in most cases costs money.
  • Forward develpment : 20%-40% should be expanding the product, settling in features and working with the sales and marketing department to remove any and all obsicles in the way of getting new people on the platform. Working with Customer support to remove any and all issues in order to keep the customers on the platform.
  • Customer support : 20-30% Sales and marketing are pretty useless if you can't keep the clients once they are on. Customer support is the front line who keep the general questions away from the developers but be feeding any and all issues to them so they can refine the product and ensure people remain happy with the product.
  • Other stuff : 10%-20% this is senior management and interal process improvement etc. Setting the direction for the next 2 years and improving the processes and tooling internally is critical during this phase, if you don't improve this you will most likely NOT scale effectively.
answered Jul 22 '11 at 09:41
Robin Vessey
8,394 points


It really depends on a number of things. If you looking for a formula you won't really find one that fits every business. It really depends on the strategic direction of your organization. Let you goals and objectives drive your budgeting weights. If your goal is to sustain a product it also is different at every business. For example- a poorly developed product may require more staff than the same product that is of better quality.

I had to do a similar activity when my company went on a hiring spree to developer a product and when it was complete we tried to maintain the development team but it just wasn't possible. I spent weeks try to identify the lowest possible operating costs to sustain existing service levels while reducing staff. The most effective way I found to identify the lowest possible operating costs was to really find out what everyone was working on. I analyzed time sheets, support tickets and backlogs then I categorized the needs from wants.

Hope this helps...

answered Jul 22 '11 at 10:29
Michael J. Lee
116 points


IT should be 75% of the total budget for an eCommerce startup less than 3 years old.

answered Jun 22 '11 at 08:24
Jaime E. Ferguson
1 point

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