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Improving Service Desk Metrics Helps IT Better Align With Strategic Business Goals, According to Info-Tech Research Group Insights

Info-Tech Research Group, one of the world’s leading IT research and advisory firms, has published a new research-backed blueprint, Define Service Desk Metrics That Matter. This data-backed blueprint will help organizations improve the metrics their service desk is measured by to align IT with strategic business goals better. The new resource is intended to guide IT leaders on consolidating metrics and assigning context and actions to ones currently tracked. With the right metrics, organizations can measure and quantify how well the service desk function performs to tell the whole story.

Establishing benchmarks and tension metrics is necessary for improved performance in an increasingly digital era. The firm’s blueprint encourages IT leaders to identify the metrics that serve a real purpose and eliminate the rest. This includes establishing a formal review process to ensure metrics are still valid and providing answers that are at a manageable and usable level.

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According to Info-Tech’s CEO-CIO Alignment Diagnostic, only 19% of CXOs feel that their organization is effective at measuring the success of IT projects with their current metrics, and 80% of organizations say they need improvement to their business value metrics. Implementing the proper metrics can facilitate communication between the business division and IT practice. Additionally, these metrics can help IT better articulate the business’s issues and how the CEO and CIO should tackle them.

According to Info-Tech’s insights, whether a given metric is the right one for an organization’s service desk will depend on several different factors, including:

  • The maturity and capability of service desk processes.
  • The volume of service requests and incidents.
  • The complexity of the environment when resolving tickets.
  • The degree to which end users are comfortable with self-service.

Internally measured metrics are more reliable because they provide information about actual performance over time, allowing for targeted improvements and objective measurements of milestones.

Tracking goal- and action-based metrics allows IT to make meaningful, data-driven decisions for the service desk. Leaders can use these insights to establish internal benchmarks to set baselines.

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“When establishing a suite of metrics to track service desk performance, it’s tempting to start with the metrics measured by other organizations,” says Benedict Chang, Research Analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “Naturally, benchmarking will enter the conversation. While benchmarking is useful, measuring your organization against others with a lack of context will only highlight your failures. Furthermore, benchmarks will highlight the norm or common practice, not best practices.”

Benchmarks are often open to interpretation. Info-Tech’s blueprint explains that taking the time to establish proper metrics is often more valuable than going down the benchmark rabbit hole. Becoming too focused on benchmarks can lead to misinterpretation of the data and poorly informed actions.

“Keeping the limitations of benchmarking in mind, IT leaders should establish their own metrics suite with action-based metrics,” adds Chang. “To do this, IT can define the audience, cadence, and actions for each metric tracked and pair them with business goals. Measure only what is necessary, slowly improve metrics process over time, and analyze the environment using the established data as the benchmark.”

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