While IT must collect hundreds of metrics for internal infrastructure management, learning how to restate these in business terms remains a challenge. Tying performance scorecards to business objectives helps refocus the language to generate an emotional response from business leaders, cuts down on the length of IT performance reports, and greatly improves the reporting process.
No Metrics? Get Metrics
Enterprises not currently using metrics to manage performance have much to gain. There are many benefits to be had from an effective IT metrics program, including more sophisticated data center management, better alignment with the needs of the business, and improved competitiveness. Enterprises that use performance metrics achieve much higher levels of competitive advantage (see Figure 1). In addition, using metrics in the context of an IT performance scorecard can help IT leaders:
- Translate IT investments into informed business decisions.
- Defend funding for IT initiatives and budget increases.
- Communicate the business value of IT to senior executives.
- Improve corporate governance or compliance initiatives (e.g. ITIL, COBIT, Sarbanes-Oxley).