Measuring IT success with metrics

December 14, 2018

Measurement is critical to the success of your IT department, and that includes reviewing monthly stats.

It can be difficult to measure the success of your IT department. What is success…uptime, overall cost, making operations more efficient? Once you identify what success means to your IT department and organization, it’s important to establish a baseline and constantly monitor those critical metrics to make sure you’re continually improving.

Where to begin tracking

There are many items to measure within the department. A great place to start is with help desk tickets. How many tickets are coming in monthly? How many incidents are solved in that same timeframe?

A ticket management system can be extremely helpful in managing these issues, but processes can be established within your email management system to accomplish the same task. Make sure that the IT support team is reviewing tickets as a whole to determine if there are underlying technology issues causing the majority of these problems.

Look at your overall expertise

Second, it’s important to measure your staff’s technical capabilities. Are people learning new skills as software or hardware is added? Create a skills matrix that lists all the technologies within the company, and determine who the primary and secondary support persons are.

Are there gaps where certain technologies aren’t supported? Are there technologies coming in the next year that you need to prepare for? Hiring decisions can be made to fill these gaps, or it may be easier to find a third party to help support your needs if it doesn’t require a full-time person.

Review your cost metrics

Many IT departments are measured on overall cost to the company. Usually an IT department can cost between 3 and 6 percent of total revenue, or even higher in technology-intensive industries. Keeping track of cost-per-user and capital expenditures can be time-consuming, but it can also help reduce costs drastically.

Monitor the annual spend within certain categories, such as printers/copiers, servers, software and security, and make budgeting and project decisions on the greatest needs or return on investment.

Project tracking can be useful

Tracking project success can also have a big impact on the bottom line. According to CIO magazine, overall half of all IT projects fail. Keeping an eye on project metrics can help remove roadblocks or reprioritize the correct resources to ensure the project’s success. A failed project can be extremely costly, especially if the project affects your company’s overall operations.

Gathering metrics on issue tickets, staff skills, IT cost and projects takes a lot of effort, but monthly comparisons will help you determine if you’re headed in the right direction. Once you have a couple years of data it becomes even easier to see trends and perform root-cause analysis on the major issues. Make reviewing the metrics scorecard part of your monthly routine, because it’s hard to improve what you aren’t measuring.

For more information on measuring metrics that matter in your IT department, please contact us at 800-236-2246.

Tags: Technology