IT chiefs reluctant to use business metrics

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "IT chiefs reluctant to use business metrics", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

IT chiefs reluctant to use business metrics

Business performance is still not considered to be the main measure of the value if IT, according to a recent survey. Only 11 per cent of IT directors feel that business metrics are more important than traditional technology-centred judgements.

Independent research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed 100 IT directors on behalf of software and service provider Compuware.

They found that 76 per cent of the respondents regarded technology-centred measurements such as uptime and downtime as the most important.

However, according to Mike Lucas, regional technology manager at Compuware for the UK and Ireland, “Applications are complex beasts – you have to think about the sharp end of the business and how the machine is being operated by the business user”.

“The IT department needs to be more mature and show the value technology is providing to the business, and this means more useful metrics. Businesses need to become more demanding in attempting to understand the way IT is working.”

Lucas suggests that companies should use more sophisticated business analytics, which reflect the impact of IT on the core business. IT is not an end in itself – it is an enabler.

Lucas goes on to suggest that technologists and business people sometimes fail to work in combination. In spite of all the recent investments, “Companies often don’t have a way to get important information to the right place at the right time,” he said.

Some 78 per cent of firms take more than one hour to identify the root cause of performance-related IT problems. And 49 per cent of IT directors said they would need to look at two or three different parts of the infrastructure before determining the cause of a problem.

What’s needed is a single comprehensive view of the IT infrastructure that enables rapid diagnosis of problems – and rapid fix. The motivation is the understanding of the impact of IT – and the realisation of the extent to which the business suffers in specific timeframes. A business view of IT transforms the way an organisation looks at IT performance.

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