When monitoring the efficiency of your IT department, it’s important to choose your metrics wisely. There are many different metrics you can use to measure the performance of your help desk, infrastructure engineering, and operations, but not all are equally important or helpful in determining whether or not you are operating at peak efficiency. This article will discuss the most important IT metrics that you should include in your IT department monitoring strategy, along with why they matter.
What are IT Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
Every IT department needs key performance indicators (KPIs) to know how it’s doing. Without them, there’s no way to know if you’re maintaining a high standard of service delivery, or if you need to make improvements. In general, an IT KPI is any metric that helps an organization measure its success in delivering effective customer service. The information generated by these metrics should help identify weaknesses in your current strategy so that you can improve your delivery going forward.
The basic KPI structure looks like a pyramid with some foundational data on top, basic aggregated metrics in the middle, and individual department measurements on bottom. In most cases, measuring these various components together is essential to gauge your overall effectiveness. So let’s take a look at each of these levels in turn. If you want more detailed information about how IT key performance indicators work, request a consultation with Axeleos.
Defining IT Efficiency Metrics
Before you start measuring IT performance, it’s important to know exactly what metrics are most important. Efficiency-focused metrics tell you whether your organization is using its resources efficiently. For example, if your help desk has a high number of tickets per agent, that suggests there are too many tickets in queue or that agents aren’t spending enough time on customer service each day. On the other hand, if your business hasn’t had any major outages in recent months (indicating good uptime), then you could lower both major and minor incident counts to incentivize technicians to work more quickly but without sacrificing quality of service.
Now that you’ve got a handle on efficiency metrics, it’s time to define IT effectiveness metrics. The difference between efficiency and effectiveness measures is that effectiveness helps you determine how well your company uses its resources to achieve specific goals, such as increasing sales. For example, if you’re looking at performance improvement in your help desk department, an effective measure might be an increase in customer satisfaction scores following a particular training course for agents. Conversely, an ineffective measure might be stagnant customer satisfaction scores even though your business has invested significant time and money into training new agents over several months.
Setting KPIs for Service Desk
Service desk efficiency is typically measured by things like wait times, call success rates, and incident response time. These metrics help gauge how well you’re providing service to your users. For example, if wait times are consistently high (more than 30 minutes), it indicates a possible need for additional staffing or changes in workflow that could shorten wait times. A low call success rate may indicate that there’s a larger issue at hand; perhaps you aren’t properly documenting incidents or your agents aren’t equipped with enough knowledge to address all of them. Service desk efficiency can be measured on an overall basis, but it can also be broken down into smaller areas like telephone support or email support.
Although there are a lot of different ways to measure service desk efficiency, one critical metric is “Service Desk Calls Closed within 24 Hours.” This metric indicates how quickly you close incidents. The ideal range is from 95% to 100%. When calls aren’t closed within 24 hours, users can’t regain access to systems and information until they’re resolved. That causes potential problems for your users and for your organization as a whole.
Setting KPIs for Infrastructure Engineering
The initial problem with setting KPIs for infrastructure engineering is that it’s an ever-changing field. Infrastructure today looks nothing like it did just five years ago, so measuring success can be difficult. The first thing you need to figure out before selecting your metrics is what’s most important to you as a company. For example, if there are many manual processes in place within your organization, efficiency should be high on your list of priorities—you want to make sure engineers are able to perform maintenance tasks quickly and accurately. If speed isn’t an issue, however, things like uptime should probably factor into your thinking.
The second thing you need to think about when setting KPI metrics for your infrastructure engineering department is how they’ll be measured. One of your most important goals should be making sure that your engineers can accurately track progress with little to no work on their part. If you do all of your measuring manually, it could become too time-consuming and take away from regular tasks like updating infrastructure and providing support. Luckily, there are a variety of software solutions available today that make it easy to measure progress—without overloading your team.
Get Assistance Defining Your Company’s KPIs
If you’re in charge of defining your company’s KPIs, you need to prioritize three key areas: IT efficiency, IT effectiveness, and value to your business. Within each area, there are dozens of potential metrics that could be relevant. With that much data to work with, it can be tough for any one person to make sense of it all. Having a group of trusted colleagues to help define these metrics will ensure you cover every aspect of performance. Doing so will keep your company on track in terms of ongoing improvement, which is critical when trying to measure efficiency in an ever-changing field like information technology.
Reach out to Axeleos today to schedule a consultation, and learn how we can help you define metrics that matter.