Implement performance metrics into your IT department to measure the progress, from year to year, towards your long-term business objectives. By aligning your IT to your business goals, you’ll improve operations, return on investment for your IT department and overall business, and improve marketing and branding. But which IT metrics should you focus on?
Relevant metrics and IT KPIs (key performance indicators) can help guide your decision-making to improve IT reliability and business processes.
All the metrics mentioned in this post may not be suitable for your business, additionally, there could be more metrics your business could use, but these six essential IT metrics will help you get started with improving your technology bottom line.
Key IT Metrics to Track
While there are literally thousands of metrics that could be used to measure performance, total costs, and outages, some metrics and KPIs are more helpful than others. Our recommendations for common KPI and IT metrics include:
- Financial metrics
- Service desk/helpdesk
- Compliance/regulatory standards
- Customer satisfaction
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What Are IT Metrics?
Before diving into the key performance measures you should track, it’s good to understand what IT metrics are and why they’re so important for your business.
Here’s a concise IT metrics definition: metrics are measurable indicators used by leadership to ‘understand the value of technology and demonstrate its value to the rest of the business’. They are vital tools for strategic decision-making, and help leaders manage the business.
Typically used by CIOs, department heads, and upper management, technology metrics measure the value of IT to the rest of your business. While IT departments aren’t designed to make money, they shouldn’t be losing or inhibiting revenue either.
Difference Between IT KPIs and Metrics
You may hear KPI in IT and metrics being used interchangeably, but the truth is, they aren’t necessarily the same. A KPI is a metric to evaluate if your business is meeting its objectives. Since KPIs indicate a key performance, not all metrics are going to be defined this way.
Since you need to ensure you’re getting the most out of your IT environment, KPIs can help to measure your return on investment. They’re most effective in answering:
- Are investments being made properly?
- What are the results you expect vs. the results you’re seeing?
- How are the CSAT reviews?
Each of these are included in our recommendations for the most important IT metrics you should be tracking.
Make Smarter Decisions With These 6 IT Cost Metrics
Elevate your IT to the next level, improve costs, and ensure your IT is aligned to your long-term goals by tracking these six commonly used IT business metrics.
1. Financial Metrics
By its very nature, IT departments don’t tend “make a company money”, however, losing more money than is budgeted isn’t the objective either. There are a few ways to ensure your IT department isn’t erroneously losing money by ensuring your technology reliably supports the departments that generate revenue.
Total Costs vs. Budget
Divide your total costs by your budget to determine if you’re spending more than your allotted budget. If you are, you can assess your spending to find out where the extra costs are coming from.
Cost-Effective Solutions From Industry Vendors
Ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck by leveraging deep partnerships with leading vendors. An experienced IT partner can assist with keeping costs low by negotiating with vendors to give you the best technology at the lowest costs.
Costly downtime, recurring IT problems, and a sluggish network can dampen productivity. To ensure optimal runtime, this metric should be the main focus of your business.
While IT problems are going to happen, if you notice the same problem happening repeatedly, your IT teams should be troubleshooting to identify and address the cause, not continuously fixing the symptoms.
Having system redundancies may cost a little more upfront, but this will also improve uptime by ensuring if problems do occur with one part of your IT, another system is in place to pick up the slack.
Routine security assessments can save your company hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run. Cyber attacks are on the rise, and can have a serious impact on business.
Protect your business and secure your data with routine backups and a detailed disaster recovery plan so if a breach does happen, there’s minimal downtime to halt productivity.
Some key indicators you should consider include:
- Intrusion attempts within a given time period
- Average time to threat detection (mean time to detect)
- Average time to threat resolution (mean time to detect)
4. Service Desk/Helpdesk
Downtime is inevitable whether your company can boast 24/7 monitoring, routine maintenance, rapid resolution rate or proactive support. However, there are ways to limit the impact to your business and lessen your cost per ticket.
A few areas to measure for helpdesk support are:
- Time to resolve break/fix IT problems
- New hire onboarding process: do your new team members have necessary IT equipment to perform job functions on day one of employment
- Average ticket hold times
5. Compliance/Regulatory Standards
Not every business will need to be held to regulatory or compliance standards, but for companies that do, tracking operational metrics for compliance can save time and money.
Ensure any compliance standards are always up-to-date and there are no found vulnerabilities. Conducting a compliance assessment regularly is a great way to manage IT operations KPIs.
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6. Customer Satisfaction
Having satisfied customers helps client retention and also improves the ability for your company to pull in new clients. It can also indicate how your customers feel about your services and products.
Internal satisfaction with the IT department is another important indicator, especially since IT teams won’t often have client-facing roles. Satisfaction survey, time to resolution, recurring issues can all help shed light on employee experiences and indicate if, perhaps, your IT team is inundated.
Is Your IT a Contributor to Business Growth?
In this day and age, the IT team plays a quintessential role in the success of the business, and like any other performing asset, its contribution must be known. Whether you’re implementing IT metrics for the first time or looking to evolve how you measure IT performance, we can help.
Our IT consultants help mid-sized and large organizations gain a better understanding of their technology, and make more informed decisions about their IT. Talk to an IT expert to learn how we can help your business.