Five Principles of Benchmarking: A Guide for IT Management


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Benchmarks are seductive, particularly for business leaders. It is simple to see why:

  • Commercially available benchmark reports cover a wide variety of IT functions across companies of all sizes and industries.
  • Benchmarks are based on historical, empirical data and provide an external perspective on reasonable levels of spending and performance.
  • Benchmarks appear to be objective and are presumed to be representative of like companies.
  • Gathering performance data for benchmark comparison is relatively quick and easy.

For IT leaders, benchmarks can be distracting, or worse, result in actions that destroy business value.

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