The world of Information Technology, or IT, has changed immeasurably over the last few decades. Businesses have gone from using fixed-line telephones, fax machines, and physical document storage in the 1980s to email and server-based storage in the 1990s. The 21st century, however, has seen the biggest change in the way that IT works, with cloud-based computing has become the norm and companies switching from email to business communication platforms that all employees can use no matter where they are on the planet. These tools allow advanced efficiency as different teams in different locations can communicate and share information with each other much more easily than they could with email.
These modern IT symptoms are tricky to run and require careful management to work properly so it is important to be able to measure the performance of your systems to ensure that you are not wasting money and manpower. In this article, we are going to take a look at how to measure your IT efforts with KPI’s so that your business becomes as streamlined and efficient as possible, so read on to find out more.
This is one of the easiest KPI’s to understand yet is also one of the most important as it gives you the raw data in terms of efficiency. Basically, it measures the entire monthly cost of your service desk against how many tickets they had in that month. All costs are taken into account from the salaries of employed personnel to technology and telecom expenses. Your utilities and rent will also be taken into account, effectively every expense relating to the IT side of your business. Once you know the ticket cost you can work out whether the related project was a success or not against the costs spent.
This is one of the key metrics when it comes to measuring performance because as every business knows, keeping your customers happy is one of the most important ways of making money, and it is also easily measured based on the number of complaints that you receive. If customers are complaining about something as simple as your website’s poor readability on a mobile device, then you have immediate feedback on which to improve your IT infrastructure. Asking customers to comment on your performance is the best way of measuring whether this department is operating efficiently or not.
When you receive negative feedback, the next step that you want to measure is how long it takes to resolve the complaint that you received, because customers expect action today, not tomorrow. You can easily measure this based on response times to the initial complaint, and then how long it takes for the whole issue to be resolved. Obviously, major IT issues such as a cyber attack will take longer to resolve than others, but you should keep your customers in the loop so that they are aware that you are doing all that is possible to rectify the issues as quickly as possible.
Sometimes measuring all the metrics that you need to understand your IT performance can be exhausting both in terms of the man-hours required and the sheer number of metrics to measure. Professionals from onestopit.com recommend that you use a firm that can manage your IT services to ensure that they are run as efficiently as possible. They will look at your strategy and security as well as measuring performance based on uptime, response to queries, and the difference between desired performance levels and actual performance levels, which will give you a perfect metric to understand where your IT efforts are failing. This will free up your staff to concentrate on making money whilst at the same time giving you the data that you need in order to improve your IT performance.
Whether you employ technicians in-house or you outsource and use freelancers, it is vital that you measure their utilization as labor is expensive and this will be your biggest cost relating to them. If they are not working at 100%, then why not, and this is why you need to measure their labor efficiency. If you employ two technicians and they only work 50% of the time, then it is time to consider whether you really need two or not. If you get busy in the future, you could always outsource one role in order to keep your utilization high, and therefore your costs low, so it is integral that you have their utilization per ticket data to hand.
IT technicians can be a funny bunch. Given that they are so vital to your IT function and infrastructure, the higher their job satisfaction rating, the lower the staff turnover, absenteeism, and ticket times meaning that they will be much more efficient at their job. So, by measuring their satisfaction, you have a perfect bellwether for the rest of your IT performance. You should be measuring their satisfaction at least biannually as they can be fickle as the last thing you need is a disgruntled technician as your ticket times will increase and morale will drop. Staff training schemes are a great way of incentivizing as well as offering a clear path to career progression and coaching when it is needed. Make sure you do what you can to keep your technicians happy as they are the heartbeat of your IT infrastructure.
As we have learned there are many different ways to measure the performance of your IT efforts. KPI’s are always useful, but perhaps the most important is the cost per ticket analysis as it tells you whether you are being efficient or not. Customer satisfaction and complaint resolution should feature highly as well as the satisfaction of your IT technicians. If you are overwhelmed by your IT efforts, then outsource to a firm that can measure performance for you, allowing you to free up your staff for more important matters. Ensure that you never rest on your laurels, and then you will have an IT department that functions as efficiently as possible.