Metrics are the fuel of modern businesses. While the metrics used by marketing departments to identify new areas of opportunity and the metrics used by the financial department to quantify a business’s progress are almost always well-known to the business’s executives, there is another set of metrics that often slips under the radar – IT metrics. These metrics, however, are just as important for modern businesses as any other, if not more so. With that said, here are 8 IT metrics businesses should be paying attention to.
The end users for the majority of the technology your business employs are going to be your employees. These are the men and women who use the business’s technology each and every day. Therefore, their thoughts and opinions on it make up some of the most important IT metrics to look at in order to understand how smoothly it is operating. Gather employee opinions through surveys and focus groups, and use this information to better your IT efforts.
Nowadays, it’s quite likely that your customers will be interacting with your business’s technology as much as your employees. Through websites, apps, and more, customers access and interact with companies’ technology daily, and their satisfaction is crucially important. As with employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction can be gauged through surveys, focus groups, and other such methods. You may also want to look at comments on your social media pages, if applicable, to get a better understanding of how your customers feel about your business’s IT setup.
Downtime is a metric that measures how much time your network is non-functional. For businesses that are even moderately reliant on their network to keep things running smoothly, even a small amount of downtime can be incredibly costly. Take a look at how much downtime your network experiences and compare it against industry averages. If the number is higher than it needs to be, you may want to take a look at updating your technology and/or processes.
There are a wide range of metrics that you can look at in order to gain a better understanding of your business’s overall security. With cyber security threats becoming increasingly prevalent, now is a better time than ever to start paying close attention to this data.
Technical metrics such as password strength, patching, and compliance are excellent to look at, however, there is also a less technical metric that can be used to gauge your businesses security. To calculate this metric, look at the number of thwarted security breeches your business experiences each year (if any) and compare that number against the number of successful security breaches. If more than just a tiny fraction of breaches were successful, you will want to reexamine your business’s security.
Average Time to Close Tickets
When problems do arise, how quickly is your IT staff able to address them? By looking at the average time it takes to close tickets that have been opened up, you can get a better feel for how efficient your IT department is and how long costly issues are being allowed to go unresolved. Of course, you will probably want to separate it out by ticket type in order to get any real insight out of the metric. Some types of issues will take much longer to resolve than others no matter how effective your IT department is.
Rather than looking at how much your IT department is costing you as a whole, it’s important to separate the costs out by resource in order to better understand where the money is going. Doing this will allow you to determine if there are areas where the opportunity to save money exists. Alternatively, you may decide that some resources in your IT department are underfunded, especially if other metrics show that their performance is suffering.
If your business has a website, measuring its performance is crucial. The average patience of a person on the internet these days is next to zero, and even a few extra seconds of load time is enough to convince them to click away and do their business elsewhere. As for your employees who must work using the website, waiting for pages to load costs them time, and their time is your money. Take a look at the average time it takes for the pages on your website to load. If they’re much slower than the average of five seconds, figure out what’s slowing them down and address it. When it comes to website performance, speed is everything.
Number of Incidents
Analyzing how often issues occur is another important way to gauge the effectiveness of your business’s technology as well as the business’s procedures concerning technology. Note that security incidents should have their own category separate from the general incidents category; the general incidents metric should measure outages and other such incidents that are more the result of faulty equipment and/or procedures than they are an outside attack. This metric is also one that is important to separate out into different categories based on severity. You don’t want incidents that are five-minute fixes being given the same weight as ones that down your network for days.
In some departments, analyzing metrics is an almost daily routine. For some reason, though, many businesses tend to gloss over the metrics available from their IT department. By paying attention to IT metrics such as those listed above, though, businesses can begin to get a better grasp of how their technology is working for them, identifying both strong points as well areas that need improvement.
If you would like assistance in analyzing and understanding the wealth of data your IT department has available, we invite you to learn more about our network assessment service. This service allows us to thoroughly analyze a business’s existing network from the bottom up and provide executives with an exhaustive yet easy-to-understand report that helps them make sense of IT metrics such as those outlined above and swiftly act on areas of opportunity. If you would like to learn more about this service, feel free to contact us today.