4 KPIs IT should ditch (and what to measure instead)

Many traditional metrics — while still important for internal IT — are no longer relevant to C-suite goals. Here’s how to demonstrate IT’s business value in the digital era.

4 KPIs IT should ditch (and what to measure instead)
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Everything about your job has changed. It’s time your metrics did too.

Craig Williams, CIO of telecommunications networking company Ciena, knows exactly how his IT team will be evaluated by the company’s leaders in 2019. They will look at a wide range of metrics that include things like talent management (days to fill open position, number of employees completing management development), profit participation (revenue per IT employee), and change management (rate of adoption for new social media, data, and collaboration tools).

It’s a big change from how things used to be. “IT used to be primarily measured on things like uptime and meeting service-level agreements,” he says. IT would shoot for targets like 99.999 percent availability, and have goals for number of tickets resolved. These days, IT still keeps track of those metrics “but we do this for ourselves, not necessarily for our [internal] customers,” Williams says. “They’re trusting in our expertise, so their needs have shifted toward value, business enablement, and profit contribution interests.”

In a survey of 900 IT leaders conducted by unified communications company Fuze in 2017, more than three quarters said they believed IT could drive business success and that IT’s ability to innovate was critical to the business. Yet most thought business leaders were too focused on cutting costs, and 49 percent said their IT departments’ success wasn’t being measured the right way. “What our survey showed is that IT teams are really interested in being judged on their ability to innovate and handle change management,” says Chris Conry, CIO of Fuze.

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