In Garrison Keillor’s fictional Lake Wobegon, ‘all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. Sometimes, in the isolated village that is your IT department, it can feel the same: ‘we’re competent, efficient and above average.’
But how can you be sure? Are there no opportunities for improvement? We’ve put together a list of ways you can benchmark your IT department.
- External validation. You can implement an industry-recognised standard such as ISO27001 for security or ITIL for IT service management.
- Informal benchmarking. There are a number of online tools and reports that you can use to assess your performance. For example, for testing, customer support and more. Gartner and other analysts can provide more structured benchmarking.
- DevOps adoption. DevOps is a new approach to IT management that embraces automation, rapid, agile iteration and collaboration. Measuring yourself against other DevOps practitioners and charting your progress towards full implementation can help you become what Nordcloud calls an agile enterprise.
- Measuring uptime. Track availability of key systems using tools like Microsoft System Center for servers, Pingdom for websites or New Relic for apps. Compare yourself with industry providers (e.g. Microsoft Azure). Check out this handy uptime calculator.
- Cost out common activities. We’re not great fans of Taylorism, but it can be helpful to know fully-loaded costs of routine tasks, such as a password reset request, applying patches to a server, ordering and installing a new SSL certificate and so on.
- Measure morale and engagement. There are some great tools for measuring engagement, including informal qualitative apps like Know Your Company through to more formal benchmarking tools like Investors In People’s online self-diagnostic. And don’t forget to look at Glassdoor for an external view.
- On-time, on-budget project delivery. The later you discover a problem or make a change request, the more expensive it is so understanding your ability to deliver efficiently rests, to some extent, on understanding your requirements gathering, testing and change control process.
- Are you a cloud ninja? On a more light-hearted note, you can take this online quiz to see exactly how cloud-savvy you are.
For more ways to make your IT department leaner and more innovative, download our whitepaper, 10 ways to free up time and money for IT innovation.