According to a survey conducted by Vanson Bourne, 90% of respondents (managers) expect business-oriented key performance indicators from the IT supervision department. This confirms that IT performance is no longer just a concern for the IT teams but rather for every company department that uses the system daily.
This is a major evolution of your job as an IT supervisor: it is your responsibility to guarantee the availability of equipment and communicate more actively with users. In this new article, we explain how.
Business KPIs: the new priority for IT operations managers
According to a survey conducted by CIO, 81% of CIOs face significant pressure to justify their technology expenditures and demonstrate ROI. This is not always easy: when everything is working, no one is aware of the actions taken by the operations and supervision teams. On the other hand, the slightest glitch and IT is pointed at. This is why it is necessary to provide regular KPIs and to value the actions of your employees.
Gone are the days when the business and IT departments were in conflict. Today, they work hand in hand and must communicate. The IT department creates value for the business. Companies have become more technologically literate and are more involved in IT projects. But for this to be effective, they need support and visibility into the performance of their infrastructures and applications. Hence the need to share clear and relevant KPIs such as the equipment availability rate, the response time of applications, maintenance costs, the number of alerts, the number of connections, the number of unused software.
These KPIs not only “make the invisible visible” but they can also help managers make decisions in real-time. These indicators give a unique view of the availability of the IS and its performance, providing guidance on priorities and actions to be taken. It is a lever to justify an increase in the IT budget. For example: if the current infrastructure is holding back business performance, investments may be necessary.
Finally, the availability of indicators for business users means that your operating teams do not have to create reports or dashboards themselves. This saves time and increases productivity, which is well appreciated by the business teams, as they can build customized reports in real-time.
It’s time to say goodbye to IT centric monitoring
You know better than anyone, IT monitoring is evolving. In fact, we no longer speak of supervision but of observability. That is to say: having permanent access to reliable and coherent information in order to react quickly.
Too often, the scope of supervision is far removed from the reality of the IS due to its rapid evolution. This reduces the teams’ ability to observe and therefore act. However, more and more data relating to IT operations is being collected. This data must be analyzed and reported via precise and relevant KPIs in real-time:
- Service availability,
- Monitoring the performance of service providers,
- Causes of unavailability, etc.
Another difficulty: many IT supervisors send out a report in the morning with the status of the IS (the famous «morning report”). If this is a good initiative, it is not enough: without real-time updates, this report is no longer relevant as soon as it is published. In fact, a few minutes after publication, the state of the IS may have changed. Therefore, it is important to operate interactively, in real-time, and communicate an updated link each time users consult it. The latter are used to having information immediately via their personal use of digital technology. Their company must also provide this by giving them the ability to check the status of their digital work tools at any time.
How can we do it? That is the big question! The simplest way is to provide a “weather report” of the information system: sunshine if everything is going well, clouds in case of minor unavailability, storms if critical problems make it impossible to use the application. Users greatly appreciate this kind of feedback: it highlights the blocking points and helps to adapt the activity accordingly.
This feedback also improves the image and credibility of the IT department: there is nothing worse than sharing incorrect information. Transparency and trust are essential for a good collaboration
Your monitoring tool should also allow you to generate dashboards and reports in a few clicks, without re-entering data and with minimal effort. This improves decision-making and reduces the risk of errors. Businesses thus have all the keys they need to organize their missions and know the state of the IS at a given moment. Better still, they become aware of the work required to achieve the expected level of availability.
Finally, your monitoring tool should help you make predictions and suggest areas for improvement to your colleagues. For example, propose automation scenarios to anticipate activity peaks, reduce the number of false alarms, anticipate weak signals, etc. This leads to better IS availability and enhances the value of your work for the rest of the company.
It is no longer proven that “old-fashioned” supervision cannot meet the services expected by your company’s businesses. It is necessary to rethink your field of action and to have the appropriate tools: real-time, automated KPIs, predictive. The contribution of the operations team to the business will be enhanced.
Business KPIs Challenge
What your IT monitoring tool should do
- Offer graphical restitutions (data visualization) Integrate an information system weather forecast Generate dashboards that are updated in real-time
- Guarantee the reliability of the information communicated Encourage the communication with the departments
- Dashlink: share your dashboards simply, in read-only mode, using a URL