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Which are the most important metrics for the IT area?

Por: Pedro César Tebaldi Gomes em 02.01.2017

The use of indicators is appointed by several managers as a means to make business more effective and to optimize internal policies. In this regard, the IT department may use this strategy to improve its performance, track internal problems and assess how management measures impact the daily life of their users.


Métricas de TI

If you wish to use this strategy in your segment, read in our post everything you need to know about the most important performance metrics for the area of IT.

Follow and learn more about IT metrics.


What are performance metrics?

Performance metrics are used by companies to identify how operational and management policies impact the results of the business. They may be defined according to the profile of the enterprise or according to a benchmarking process, where the company aligns with the standards of the main players of the market. Therefore, it is possible to assess the effectiveness of several internal factors, tracking bottlenecks and issues that need improvement.


Vanity metrics: Why avoid them?

Vanity metrics, a concept created by Eric Ries, one of the main gurus on management of startups and innovative companies, are indicators that must be avoided. In general, they may be identified as metrics that only try to put value on the manager’s work. Therefore, their capability of helping the business to optimize the area of IT is reduced. One example can be the download rate of the trial version of a software, which taken individually says nothing. That is so because if no one is buying the full version, there is no point in a large amount of downloads of the trial version.


Which are the main metrics for the area of IT?

The area of IT may deploy several indicators to assess the performance of its governance policies. They enable identifying problems in operational policies and track failures in the infrastructure of the sector. Thus, the IT manager can define approaches to improve the performance of an area that is considered by many experts as vital for companies to innovate and be effective.

Amongst the main metrics for the IT sector, the following are noteworthy:


Uptime index

The IT infrastructure is as effective as the time the resources are available is longer. In this regard, the ideal uptime of the systems and internal devices must be above 99% in most of the cases.

Many large companies demand from the IT department availabilities higher than 99.99%. This ensures that the professionals of the company can count on an infrastructure that will always meet their needs. The greater the guarantee of availability, the larger the investments required for the systems to run with lower downtime risk.

If the uptime is low, measures can be taken to optimize the IT infrastructure. Equipment may be configured according to their usage profile. In addition, devices with low performance may be replaced with more effective equipment. The Uptime index of the main systems and resources is probably the best known IT metric.


Average service time

The time spent by the service desk to help users to solve their problems is directly connected to the impact that failures cause on the work of the company. In this regard, the IT manager is can assess how each team assists the users and, thus, modify the supporting process aiming at a sector that operates with greater agility and accuracy. Therefore, problems in the IT infrastructure will not affect deeply the work flows of the business.


First call resolution

Another IT metric related to support, first call resolution is connected to the number of calls solved in the first contact with the supporting team. Despite several complex problems demand more contacts, it is possible to identify how service desk professionals can track the source of problems quickly.

In the event this indicator points out the need of improvements, the IT manager may train teams and create documentation with the main measures to solve recurring problems of the area.


Bugs index

Assessing the average number of bugs in the software developed by the company gives the IT manager greater capability to identify problems in the development processes and code tests.

If the number of failures is high, the company may change its policies of software development in order to find more effective and responsive routines. In addition, strategies such as DevOps may be adopted to integrate teams and organize internal routines.

Some indicators related to bugs may be, for example: number of hours to correct bugs, number of hours to correct critical bugs, number of bugs per versions released and number of critical bugs per versions released.


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