Business MetricsIT Metrics

How to Align Business and IT Metrics

Every new technology that hits the market is like a beach ball hitting a sand castle, spewing the status quo all over the place and changing the landscape. And each time this happens, a renewed understanding of the metrics at play is required. Samuel Greengard writes for CIO Insight about how to align business and IT with this notion in mind.

Fortify the Sand Castle

Let’s start with some numbers, so you can see in classic benchmarking style how you size up with the competition. A recent Gartner study found that a mere 31 percent of organizations have implemented IT metrics to improve business operations, another small 31 percent rely on a dashboard, and only 48 percent of IT leaders employ KPIs. With numbers like these, maybe it is no wonder there has been some decreasing faith in IT. But Greengard discusses what can be done to use IT metrics in the right way:

How can a CIO help build an effective framework that steps beyond IT-centric metrics? A starting point, Becirovic says, is identifying overarching goals and embedding them in a well-defined governance model. This can help IT and the business operate in lock-step, improve decision-making and clarify issues about IT spending. It also helps leaders better understand the role of technology in driving the business and what direction it should take in the future. “Many of these issues sound very basic,” [Merim Becirovic, senior director of business operations for IT at Accenture] states. “But a governance structure must be in place in order to develop an effective strategy.”

Whatever KPIs are ultimately chosen, they must lend themselves to business outcomes over IT-centric performance. The best metrics will simultaneously explain away past events and help illuminate the future, and CIOs should review them at least every couple years to ensure they are still relevant and current. As always, communication and collaboration are major elements to maintaining good metrics, and the end goal is to have metrics that are actionable and create a system by which employees can be made accountable. You can read the original article here:

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