Business Metrics for the Service Desk

Align IT Business Metrics for the service desk with your business goals. This helps business understand the financial value a Service Desk adds to the organisation. 

Introduction:

Business Metrics form a vital component of any service desk. Traditionally, IT Metrics focus on the performance of the service desk. However, in this format, they do not convey how the Service Desk benefits business.

This is the first article in our two-article series.

Business Metrics for the service desk (this article)

How to configure BMC FootPrints to produce your Business Metrics reporting 

There is no clear connection between IT effort and business productivity when using traditional IT Metrics. The challenge facing  IT is effective to communicate the benefits of a well-run Service Desk to business. This can be achieved by aligning IT metrics with business goals.

For the past ten years, Onsoft has been working with IT departments re-aligning IT goals with the organisation’s Business Metrics. We have identified two service desk solutions that will assist you to re-align your IT goals with the business goals.

Our skilled consultants will help you to select the correct IT help desk for your small to medium business. In the case of the larger enterprise, we have a service desk solution to meet your needs.

Problems Reporting IT Metrics:

It has been noted that Service Desk management struggle to measure and report service metrics in terms understood by business. Reporting issues are:

  • Limited communication with business and incorrectly translating metrics into terminology understood by business.
  • Difficulty in translating customer satisfaction into tangible business value.
  • There exists a lack of standard business metrics reporting terminology between the Service Desk and business.
  • There is a conflict between the Service Desk KPIs and customer expectations.
  • Identifying service improvement opportunities are difficult when focused on day to day operations of the Service Desk.
  • Often there is no apparent owner for reporting metrics to business.
  • Forecasting service desk costs and expenditure to business is difficult due to a large number of variables.

Communicate IT Metrics In Business Metrics Terms:

It is important to clarify the connection between IT and Business by documenting IT goals using business terminology. This changes the business perception that IT has no role in improving productivity and revenue generation.

IT must align the Service Desk Metrics with the organisation’s Business Metrics. This realignment will change the traditional Business view of IT from a cost centre to a profit centre.

For the business to understand IT goals they need to be written using business terminology. Currently, this is not happening. Look at the differences between the IT and Business Goals:

 

IT Support GoalsBusiness Goals
Minimise service disruptionsMinimise service disruptions Increase sales by 5% each quarter
Minimise length of the service disruptionMinimise length of the service disruption Reduce annual operation cost by 5%
Reduce cost per callExpand customer base by 20%
Meet service level goalsIncrease repeat business by 5% each

Table 1: Differences between the IT and Business goals

 

The Support goals are written in IT terms. As you can see, they do not support the Business goals. Also, the Business goals do not have a dependency on technology.

To rectify the problem I advise writing the IT goals from a business perspective:

 

IT Support GoalsFrom Business Perspective
Minimise service disruptionsMinimise service disruptions Increase productivity and service quality using expedient and accurate problem resolution
Minimise length of the service disruption
Reduce cost per callStreamline processes that impact the customer
Meet service level goalsMeet service level goals Improve customer expectations for services.

Table 2: IT goals from a business perspective

 

With a few changes in terms and phrasing, the IT goals are now business-focussed.

However, current IT metrics reporting is not well understood by business and will need to undergo significant change. Making the data meaningful to business requires a fresh approach to IT Metrics reporting.

This is achieved by:

  • Augmentation. No changes are made to reports. A supplementary explanation of the correlation between IT report data and business goals is added.
  • Modifying reports to present meaningful Business Metrics accurately. To do so, additional comments must be added because the underlying metrics have not been changed.
  • Transformation. Metrics are modified to reflect achievement of business related goals more accurately. This approach yields the most meaningful change in reporting for business.

Aligning IT goals with Business Metrics will make IT reporting more understandable to the organisation and the IT department as a whole will benefit from the new respect gained.

IT Goals and Business Value:

Communicating the value that IT and Support add to Business improves the perception management has of IT Services. However, the current business view of IT will only improve when IT aligns with the business goals.

Conclusion:

Reporting IT Business Metrics in terms that business understands aligns IT with business goals. This shift in focus presents the IT department as a profit centre instead of a cost centre.

Now more than ever, IT must invest the time to understand the business goals and to translate IT Metrics to reflect impact to these goals.

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