Measuring your IT

Measuring your IT: Identifying the metrics that matter

JOHN STEWART
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 102
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hh6ws
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  • Book Info
    Measuring your IT
    Book Description:

    Why IT measurement is necessary and how it relates to other performance assessments and monitors, such as audits, KPIs and health checks. How IT measurement differs from the perspective of the client business and the IT provider, and the common ground between the two. If you’re a client business, you want to know if the time, effort and money being spent on IT are in line with industry norms. And you’ll want to ensure that your IT is meeting the needs of the organisation and its users while contributing to the overall success of the business. If you’re an IT provider, you need to know that your resourcing is as efficient as possible, your client charges are competitive, and that your offerings are well received by the client. Through its “both sides of the fence” case studies, this pocket guide helps to foster a better understanding between business managers and users (who depend on IT) and IT providers (who make a living from supplying IT services).

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-437-0
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-4)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 7-7)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 8-8)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 9-10)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 11-11)

    The book is intended as an introduction to measurement – why it’s important, who’s involved and the sorts of things that you may want or need to measure. It should give you enough to whet your appetite to dig deeper, if you need to.

    If you’re a business user, the book aims to help you to get the best out of your IT. If you’re an IT provider, it should help you to give your customers the best value for money.

    It should help you answer the questions: is our IT good enough? How does it compare now with last quarter,...

  7. CHAPTER 1: IT MEASUREMENT IN CONTEXT
    (pp. 12-26)

    Quite simply, if you want to understand, control or improve your IT, or communicate it to others, you need measurement.

    If you want to know how good your IT is, both in terms of quality and value for money, you need to measure it. Then you’ll understand whether you can keep it as it is, or need to do something about it. Or at least you will, if you know what measurement ranges constitute good and not so good practice.

    If you want to know if your IT is heading in the right direction, or is set to give you...

  8. CHAPTER 2: THE BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE ON YOUR IT
    (pp. 27-35)

    Before diving into the business’s interest in IT measurement, let’s consider some business perspectives on IT. The business’s perspectives aren’t always comfortable for the IT provider. All the business wants is for the required IT to be there whenever needed, for the price to represent value for money and for changes and problems to be dealt with efficiently: surely not too much to ask? Yet the providers can seem not very understanding, defensively hiding behind the contract: ‘our stats show the service is fine’ when the users would regard it as anything but fine.

    Actually, in many businesses that particular...

  9. CHAPTER 3: THE IT PROVIDER’S PERSPECTIVE ON YOUR IT
    (pp. 36-39)

    Service roles can be rather thankless. The provider’s job of satisfying customers by meeting contractual or SLA obligations and providing value for money is not easy, being dependent on infrastructure, vendors, business processes and customer relationships. The service is usually highly visible to customers and their expectations tend to be high. IT services are business-critical, prone to requests for change and improvement, and prone to faults. From the IT provider’s perspective, customers often want more and better, and they can’t tell you precisely what they do want, but they’re pretty quick to say what they don’t want. So IT service...

  10. CHAPTER 4: MEASUREMENT COMMON GROUND FOR CLIENT AND PROVIDER?
    (pp. 40-50)

    Providing an IT service is a bit like running a train service. People soon know when things go wrong and they tend not to be very patient about it. They just expect things to work like a Swiss watch. And everybody thinks it’s simple. Yet, behind the scenes, it needs reliable hardware and software and constant management attention, with well-defined processes, both to minimise problems and to deal with them efficiently when they do arise.

    Measurement can be the glue holding things together. So long as there is a willingness on both sides, it can provide a common vocabulary that...

  11. CHAPTER 5: WHAT THE BUSINESS NEEDS TO MEASURE
    (pp. 51-70)

    Let’s start our more detailed look at measurement on the client side. Any business will be interested in whether:

    it is getting the service as contracted (or as detailed in the SLA);

    value for money is being achieved;

    the business and its users are happy and getting what they need;

    problems are properly dealt with;

    changes, small and big, including ‘projects’, are handled effectively;

    IT plans allow the business to keep ‘a step ahead’.

    This is not a definitive list for all businesses. Many will be interested in other things besides.

    To be in control of these requirements, the business...

  12. CHAPTER 6: WHAT IT PROVIDERS NEED TO MEASURE
    (pp. 71-86)

    An IT provider is interested in whether:

    the service is operating according to the contracts or SLAs it has with its clients;

    it is satisfying customers and is thus well regarded; it has effective strategic-level engagement with clients;

    it is perceived as offering value for money. More than that, it is actually operating efficiently and effectively;

    incidents and problems are being managed effectively with prompt resolutions and good customer communications;

    changes are handled well and introduced with either no or, at worst, few unwanted side effects;

    ‘under the bonnet’ processes are performing as they should; we come back to this...

  13. CHAPTER 7: PROCESS MEASURES
    (pp. 87-93)

    In this chapter, we consider the measurement of IT provider processes, as a basis for more deeply understanding IT provision and improving it.

    Any business organisation works by taking inputs and subjecting them to a transformation process to create outputs. If the process, at macro level, is IT provision, the organisation’s users will be interested in some or all of the inputs and outputs, but that is normally as far and as deep as their interest in the processes will go. By analogy, if you go to se e a film, you’ll be interested in the inputs that you yourself...

  14. CHAPTER 8: ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
    (pp. 94-97)

    In this book, we’ve focused on the measurement of IT provision from both customer and provider perspectives.

    Enlightened IT providers will have a disciplined approach to their work, often based on IT industry standards and leading frameworks such as ITIL. Enlightened clients may well demand that their provider use standardised approaches – or proof that the provider’s approaches are to an equivalent high standard.

    The use of a disciplined approach makes it easier to use measurement as a basis for improvement, in the same way that it’s easier to measure an engineer’s work and use the measurement for improvement than it...

  15. ITG RESOURCES
    (pp. 98-102)