Boom or Bust: What’s Your ITSM Operation Worth?

GettyImages-537624508There’s a popular TV show on PBS called Antiques Roadshow. The premise of the show is people bringing in items that they’ve either picked up at a yard sale or inherited in order to have them professionally appraised.

Every once in a while, an unassuming bargain hunter will find out that their thrift store painting (that looks like a horse made out of lasagna) is actually a Picasso. Or the vase they’ve been putting plastic flowers in is actually from the Ming Dynasty.

The bottom line is you never know what something is actually worth until you invest in getting it valuated.

Measuring the value of ITSM

One of the most significant challenges facing IT service management (ITSM) organizations is the inability to measure and find meaningful ways to communicate metrics around the value they bring to the business.

While many organizations have effective operational performance measures in place, a focus on demonstrating and maximizing business value often isn’t evident.

Traditional metrics

Traditional metrics focus on the performance of the ITSM team and tools, e.g., first contact resolution or number of service requests logged in a given day. They describe the current and past situation but don’t provide the necessary insight to predict what to do next, spot moments of importance, and make connections between them.

These traditional metrics are not the figures that business leaders use to make strategic decisions. IT performance and productivity reporting has its place, but alone doesn’t reveal how IT assists the business or business users presently and how it can drive future strategy.

Incident reports

Take a typical incident report. It might indicate there were 25 major incidents over a two-week period. But for the executive level, it’s difficult to understand the business impact of this number.

Showing how those major incidents translate into hours of unavailability for each service, coupled with financial cost, helps the executive level understand the business impacts and risks of a particular service outage, and to make appropriate decisions.

Dashboards and reports

Dashboards and reports are vital to modernizing IT service management, but to be most effective, it’s necessary to understand the required outcomes and priorities of different business managers within the organization.

The most valuable reports are those that offer accurate insights into performance and how that translates into business impact.

Valuable dashboards highlight areas to drive improvements. These reports and dashboards focus communication on what’s important to each business manager viewing the data—the CIO, VP of Operations, or the CEO.

Embracing a value-based approach

It’s time to embrace a value-based approach that ties IT performance and measurement to business outcomes. Only then can you add value by disclosing insights in a business-centric way. This aggregated business view requires inputs from multiple data sources such as incident data, service availability, and cost.

Market research firm IDC predicts that by 2017, 80 percent of CIOs will have a plan in place centered on using data to drive the business past its competition. The same IDC study found that more than 70 percent of organizations that have data valuation processes in place are primarily collecting and analyzing data manually.

Use reporting tools to avoid manual, time-intensive analysis. These tools roll up old-school metrics to dashboards in a way that individual systems and tools can’t achieve easily:

  • Offer the context of business impact alongside standard performance metrics.
  • Ensure that dashboard data can be filtered easily so any business user can dig into the results and make a fast decision that matches your modern-responsive ITSM operation.
  • Enable your service management teams to communicate effectively to business decision-makers and stay relevant to the business.

The foundation for value 

The value of timely dashboards with relevant data cannot be overstated. Using visualizations that are intuitive and easy to interpret, these dashboards help managers quickly determine:

  • The current state of where they are.
  • If they’re on track to meet objectives.
  • What changes or fine-tuning are required to stay on course.

Value-based dashboards and reports targeted at business users are a requirement for every modern ITSM organization to drive performance efficiencies, facilitate business strategy, optimize processes, monitor trends, and quickly identify new opportunities for growth.

These business-oriented dashboards create the foundation for demonstrating and improving value and effectiveness for your business by improving the speed and accuracy of decision-making.

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