The phrase “enterprise IT metrics” might sound rather daunting if you have never come across it before, but do not let it scare you. Gaining a firm understanding of enterprise IT metrics could save you money in the short term and make you money in the longer term.
What does it mean?
In its most basic form, enterprise IT metrics are numerical measurements of your IT systems, processes and procedures. It is no different to the way the finance department uses financial ratios to measure business performance, or a marketing team will use regular measurements such as customer churn and average revenue per customer to keep an eye on their ongoing performance.
Just like other departments across the business, forward-thinking IT teams are using sensible enterprise IT metrics to ensure they are performing as efficiently as possible and getting the most out of their budgets.
Even simple measurements such “IT spending as a percentage of overall revenue”, or “IT spend per employee”, can reveal so much about what is right and what is wrong with your IT strategy.
In a nutshell, enterprise IT metrics revolve around driving increased value.
Why are enterprise IT metrics important?
When you compare current enterprise IT metrics to those of past years, you get an instant idea of how effective your spend really is. You will see at a glance whether or not your company’s IT deployment strategy is heading in the right direction. If your enterprise IT metrics data suggests things are not going as well as you would have hoped, then you are now in a position to do something about it and generate innovative ideas to turn things round.
The real eye-opener comes when you compare your enterprise IT metrics with other businesses in the same industry. Was that extra IT spend you battled for really worth it? Could your money have been better spent on something that would add real value to the business, like wireless presentation technology?
There are clear financial benefits to be had by adopting a data-driven approach to how you run your IT team. It is clear that if you can achieve efficiency savings with your IT spend, resulting in a lower IT cost base, the business wins. If you can use enterprise IT metrics data to inspire innovative IT solutions, such as dealing with the problems posed by enterprise security, you are able to deliver a superior service to your colleagues, meaning the business wins.
There is one further significant benefit: your increased credibility.
IT teams, and by implication the CIO, can sometimes get a bad press within the company for not fully understanding the needs of the business. By using enterprise IT metrics the right way, you can demonstrate sound financial acumen as well as show your willingness to run your team in a manner aligned with the rest of the business. It is another win, but this time for your own career.
Natural culture change
By setting the enterprise IT metrics agenda, the CIO can facilitate positive cultural change across his or her team. The team will understand that the emphasis is on generating value. It is this culture change that is going to maintain interest and enthusiasm among team members once the enterprise IT metrics programme has been implemented.
Implementing change is a challenge for any manager, but if the CIO can demonstrate that value is being created it will help provide focus for all staff. It will even improve their knowledge and skills base, benefiting the team and the wider business over the longer term.