Metrics are all the buzz today – even in IT. People want to see the hard numbers and the impact their decisions have on the rest of the company. For IT professionals, if you want to boost the success of your department, you need to consider what metrics could work in your favor. But first, what actually determines the success of IT?
CIO explains the five key areas that determine IT success are:
- Operational excellence: Running productive systems.
- Solution delivery excellence: Delivery new or better functionality.
- Organizational excellence: Having an engaged workforce.
- Financial excellence: Keeping costs in line.
- Transformational excellence: Leveraging the capabilities of new technology.
Now, metrics play an integral role in maintaining this road to IT excellence. So what metrics does your department need to measure? Here are our top three:
1. Average time spent on critical/high-support issues
It’s important to know how long your people are working on these escalated issues. This way, you’ll begin recognizing patterns to know much much time and resources to devote to continual problems or certain projects.
If you run a big staff or are based out of multiple locations, you’ll want to keep track of just how much time you’re devoting to training your people. Are there better ways to handle this training, from adding headcount to providing tools even like Lynda training now on LinkedIn.
Similar, how much time is spent training individuals from the IT Support Center is important to know. There may be more efficient ways to handle training, from conducting actual user training that all employees have to take to introducing a better ticketing system.
3. Measurements of usage
While this one might seem more obvious, you do want to ensure you’re tracking what you’re customers are doing. If you’re a software company, how many times people are using the systems and when they’re using them. If you’re not a software company, things like purchasing or even general website usage will help. This even means social media channels. There are listening opportunities to see whether people have positive or negative comments using Mention and other tools. This even includes usability with tools like UserTesting.com.
Knowing what your customers are using, when they’re using it and how they’re using it as well as what they’re saying will help your company, no matter what, improve.
As part of usage, there’s satisfaction. For Support Centers, receiving positive or negative feedback may inform how you handle things and what new procedures you introduce.
4. System up-time
If you notice recurring outages, it’s probably a no-brainer: something’s wrong. But it’s not just outages but up-time that people care about. This gives a more accurate view into the health of your overall data center, website and systems your company maintains including software.
Overtime, this information will provide insight into trends, which point to problems and opportunities. For example, if customer usage is lowest on Sunday night — that might be a good time to conduct maintenance. If system up-time always dips at midnight, maybe there’s a rogue task running that’s sucking up system resources that could be killed.
Also even though customer data is useful, different people want different things. Reports should meet the needs of the people requesting them. For example, marketing professionals care about conversions on the website and whether that’s due to organic or paid traffic. They need one set of information. On the website, your Web team will want to know uptime and general performance. That’s another set of metrics. Sales may want to see how many people are hitting the “Contact Us” page and how many people are requesting demos … from the website. That’s yet another.