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Executive Summary

Use metrics to provide powerful insight into IT performance and establish transparent credibility with the business. Many organizations fail to commit to even a basic or simple metrics program, even though doing so does not have to be costly and onerous. Info-Tech recommends that all organizations develop a metrics program, regardless of size or complexity start with metrics that address specific business issues like spending and staffing justification or performance improvement. Organizations can build a metrics program quickly with 5 simple steps.

Metrics dont stop with collection and communication what is more important is acting on performance issues.

Info-Tech Research Group

Choose metrics that result in real business impact

Important Use of Metrics
Justify staffing and spending levels Track and report operational performance and continuous improvement Evaluate project success

Category of Benchmarks
Benchmark against a peer group Info-Techs MeasureIT program will help Benchmark against historical performance to identify positive or negative trends Benchmark against project goals and historical project performance

Business Benefit
Align IT objectives with business goals and demonstrate IT value Provide insight into operational performance and efficiency and demonstrate continuous improvement Demonstrate project effectiveness and seek opportunities for ongoing improvement

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Track and report performance regularly using a dashboard or scorecard tool

Select > Track > Report > Present
Select from over 150 metrics in 13 categories Track performance monthly, quarterly, or annually Automatically generate a graphical representation of each metric Present results including targets and initiatives aimed at continuous improvement in a balanced scorecard

Info-Tech Research Tool:

Info-Techs IT Metrics Selecting and Reporting Template will help you select metrics and build customized metrics reporting and a balanced scorecard Info-Tech Research Group 3

Most organizations want to have some metrics in place

82% of organizations would like to implement a metrics program
A balanced set of metrics can be used to:
Justify spending and staffing levels Make the case for IT projects and investment Demonstrate continuous operational improvement Establish transparent credibility with the business
45% 40% 35% 30% 25%

Client Interest in Metrics is High

15% 10% 5% 0% Very Interested Interested Somewhat Interested Not at All Interested

Further Reading:
See the Info-Tech note Metrics 101: Defining and Using SMART Metrics to get a solid understanding of how a metrics program can benefit IT and the business
Info-Tech Research Group

Source: Info-Tech Research Group

Organizations incorrectly believe that metrics are expensive, overly bureaucratic or unnecessary.
Time and Money
We dont have the budget for a metrics program.

Company Size
Were a small company IT metrics are too over the top.

We dont need metrics to tell us were ok.

Info-Tech Recommends
Start small collect and report on metrics and benchmarks that address a business issue. Start now using Info-Techs tools and MeasureIT program. Use existing tools and resources it doesnt have to cost a dime. Start by justifying spending and staffing levels to the business. Dont wait to be asked measure performance and benchmark against your peers so youre ready when the business asks. Use metrics internally in IT to improve performance and efficiency. Dont wait for the business to come asking about IT performance because they will. WOW the business with continuous improvement. Be proactive.

From the Front Line:

Ive been trying to bring [metrics and reporting] in, trying to educate myself and other people about some of the different value points that it could have for us, mainly for our communication with our business units.

VP of IT , Insurance
Info-Tech Research Group 5

Info-Tech recommends that all organizations develop a metrics program, regardless of size or complexity
Competitive Advantage Gained from Metrics

Used performance metrics



40% Large advantage Moderate advantage Minimal advantage

Didn't use performance metrics




% of respondents


Source: Info-Tech Research Group

Dont treat metrics like a large-scale project. Start small and simple. Evaluate metrics that are already being collected. Create a process and mentality of collecting and reporting key metrics as a regular process within IT. Recognize the metrics are an iterative process and will be refined and improved over time. Above all else, dont reinvent the wheel. Use Info-Techs tools and research to start metrics collection right away.
Info-Tech Research Group 6

Step 4 of 5 - Use Info-Techs MeasureIT to provide benchmarks for appropriate metrics

MeasureIT tracks almost 100 budgeting and staffing metrics allowing for easy access to information regarding your industry. With some light prep work you get a comprehensive budget and staffing metrics program. Simply complete the MeasureIT survey questions and get instant online access to your customized budget and staffing benchmark reports.

You are compared to a group of 40 of your closest peers. Thousands of IT leaders have already completed the surveys and are taking advantage of the customized benchmark reports you should too.
From the Front Line:
Were using this information quite heavily right now. Were working on the budget for 2010. This gave us an idea of where our costs were a little high and low, what we want to do staffing wise. Weve identified what our big three priorities are for the next three years

Director, Global Systems Integration, Manufacturing

Info-Tech Research Group

For instance, MeasureIT provides an instant comparison of your top-line IT financial numbers
Bring your numbers, MeasureIT does the rest
Dozens of metrics
benchmarked against a group of 40 of your closest peers Read-to-present online and PDF versions of your customized reports See how you stack up at-aglance

Info-Tech Research Tool:

Info-Techs MeasureIT Budgeting Survey and Custom Benchmark Reports provide an instant, custom report that benchmarks your metrics against a group of 40 of your closest peers Info-Tech Research Group 8

Likewise, MeasureIT provides peer comparisons to staffing levels

Do you have the right staff mix?
High level comparison
of staffing levels compared to your peers Is your staff allocated to the right activities? Get your reports instantly and present findings to the business

Info-Tech Research Tool:

Info-Techs MeasureIT Staffing Survey and Custom Benchmark Reports provide an instant, custom report that benchmarks your metrics against a group of 40 of your closest peers Info-Tech Research Group 9

Step 5 of 5 - Present performance results to stakeholders to highlight issues, accomplishments, and continuous improvement
Choose a presentation style that will appeal to your audience. Some prefer text, some numbers, some graphics. Share the current metric value, change from previous period, and comparison to benchmark Provide context what does the metric mean? How does it reflect whats going on in the business? Are things better or worse? Include call to action what is being done to improve Raw metrics need context before being presented to the business. For example:
Raw Metric
IT resolved 175 help desk tickets this month

Sample Interpretation
Help desk tickets are down 10% from last month but 30% of IT staff time was still devoted to resolving tickets this month. 40% of requests were related to the operating system (OS). Providing OS training to end users could reduce the number of requests and save $2000 per month in IT productivity. Faster help desk response time resulted in less downtime this quarter, saving the enterprise $25,000.

75% of help desk requests were resolved in less than 20 minutes

From the Front Line:

Some of the metrics that I try to communicate to my senior team are the number of full-time IT people that I have; how many consultants and people that we use to help us; what the ratios are of how many IT people there are to employees in the company; what the benchmark average is out there in the industry. I use that as just a measure to say heres where we are, here's where the industry says we ought to be, so were really understaffed.

Director, Engineering and Manufacturing firm

Info-Tech Research Group 10

Where trends or benchmarks appear unfavorable, determine underlying drivers of performance

Operational budget as a % of revenue

If results are higher than those of peers, this could be an indication of overspending. The business might be expanding IT. Complex environment typically have higher operational costs.

Significantly below peer results could mean that IT runs a tight ship and is doing a good job managing the available budget. Or the business is operating in a reactionary mode or under-serving the business. IT is simply trying to keep its head above water. IT may be over-serving the business, or could indicate low levels of productivity. Or IT may be overstaffed, prompting the business to ask for justification of IT staffing.

Gross Revenue per IT Employee

Might be indicative of understaffing. Compare this metric to IT staff as a % of all staff to get a clearer picture of whether or not the organization is truly understaffed.

Further Reading:
Get to the bottom of it what it all means and how can you take action refer to the Info-Tech notes, The Rest of the Story: Budgeting and Staffing. Info-Tech Research Group 11

A metrics and benchmarking program should be a staple for IT shops of all sizes and complexity Metrics and benchmarking provide valuable insight into how IT performs and areas for improvement Metrics should address a business issue and transparency within the business leads to mutual understanding Communicating the right metrics effectively with the business builds credibility for IT It doesnt have to be onerous and time consuming start small and build a program based on business needs
Info-Tech Research Group 12

Appendix Further Reading

Metrics 101: Defining and Using SMART Metrics Metrics and Broccoli: You Might Not Like Them, But Theyre Good for You Selecting and Reporting IT Metrics Template Interpreting Metrics in Business Terms The Rest of the Story: Contextualizing 5 TopLevel Budgeting Metrics The Rest of the Story: Contextualizing 5 TopLevel Staffing Metrics Best Practices for Communicating IT Metrics Designing an IT Metrics Program Build the IT Business Case with Quantifiable Metrics New IT Leaders: Set a Few Early Metrics Use the Right Metrics When Building an IT Performance Scorecard Metrics to Measure Your IT Application Development Staff Network Management Staff Metrics Made to Measure Help Desk Staff Metrics Made to Measure Be Prepared to Prove Performance Claims by Mastering Metrics How to Set and Use IT Staff Performance Metrics Use Metrics for Balanced Scorecard Success Internal SLAs May Lead to IT Performance Metrics Anxiety

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