I will be talking a lot about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) over the next few months. As Gartner have identified business intelligence to be one of the hottest areas in IT for the next few years there will be a big focus on figuring out what KPIs are key for your business success and performance for your industry.
This got me thinking about what are the KPIs my clients are looking for.
There are multiple key indicators that I would keep an eye on to ensure you are being adequately serviced by your IT provider.
We generally track our own progress using the following key gauges:
- Resolution rate – how many tickets/issues are resolved within the first 24 hours? (90% +)
- System availability – how long are key systems down per month? (less than 99% uptime should be a cause for alarm)
- Technical resource utilisation – are the number of technician hours worked decreasing each month? (trend should be less technician hours worked per month per PCs supported)
- Reopened tickets – how many tickets/issues are re-opened after they are closed by a technician? (should be close to zero)
- Customer satisfaction – how satisfied are employees with the level of service they receive? (perception of timeliness, quality and knowledge)
A good question to ask an IT service provider is what they can do differently that will help your company reach its business goals? It’s about understanding what the IT service provider will do that will differentiate them from other competitors and help create value in your business.
The critical questions for you to answer before investing in IT expenditure are what business problems are you keen to resolve?
My focus is business systems, not applications, and just from my perspective of technical systems the problems fall into the following groupings. You could be:
- Improving functionality, mobility or access
- Increasing speed of systems, capacity or future readiness
- Reducing risk associated with hacking, viruses, data theft or fraud
- Reducing risk around backup, disaster recovery, business continuity
- Replacing legacy systems, building infrastructure or migrating to cloud
Then there is application implementation, development or customisation…
If you are not sure about any of this, perhaps you need to consider your own KPIs and how IT can help you improve your own scores. We can talk about measurement and management of KPIs another time.
The challenge is to understand why you would or would not invest in any of these changes in your business before starting with the strategic design of the change required. You certainly don’t want to go out and start spending money on IT stuff before the thinking has been done.
Of course if the ability to consider IT from a strategic view point is missing in your business there people who can come in and assist with it. Do not fall into the trap of assuming your tactical IT people can step up to the strategy too.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that ensures IT is never an impediment to growth.