Non-technical executives have long, and unjustly, considered IT as a call center function. However, we (in the IT industry) of course know that IT is in fact a strategic business function. This gap between perceived value and actual value stems from IT historically not setting or tracking many key performance indicators (KPIs).
Sincewe are potentially headed into a recession, it’s never been more important to define KPIs, set baselines, measure current performance, evaluate trends, report on your successes and take action where needed. This goes for both internal and external IT service providers. Internal IT teams need to protect both their headcount and budgets. On the other hand, MSPs need to make sure their clients understand the value they provide to reduce churn and ensure there are upsell channels.
What are IT KPIs?
A KPI or key performance indicator is a measure of how effectively a particular department in an organization is achieving its key business objectives. As the name suggests, IT KPIs are used to evaluate the performance of internal IT departments and MSPs.
IT KPIs track all critical aspects of quality associated with IT projects and help deliver them most effectively in a timely manner and within allocated budgets. This is achieved by tracking, analyzing and optimizing various critical parameters associated with IT such as IT cost management, problem-solving and ticket management.
Why is it important to track IT KPIs?
Tracking IT KPIs helps:
- Monitor the health of the IT department/MSP
- Track the progress of ongoing IT projects
- Tackle opportunities and solve problems
- Analyze patterns over time and make adjustments according to the successes and failures
- Build accountability among the individual team members
20 IT KPIs and metrics to track
We have segregated the various IT KPIs and metrics into four categories based on the various measures of success they track, namely financial metrics, operational metrics, system metrics and security metrics. Let’s take a look at all these metrics in detail below:
Tracking the performance of an IT initiative is imperative to understand the value of the invested resources. Financial metrics help evaluate the financial performance of IT projects and initiatives and help bridge the gap between their perceived value and actual value. Some of the most important financial metrics are:
1. IT spend vs. plan
This financial metric helps keep track of your IT expenses and analyze how effectively you are spending the IT budget allocated to you. Are you spending the entire budget? Are you consistently saving money on your IT initiatives? Is your function well-managed? This metric helps answer these finance-related questions and more.
2. Money saved in negotiations
Through this financial metric, you can find out whether you have been able to save any additional costs on negotiations. It tracks savings from cutting unused seats, consolidating multiple tools into a single solution, swapping to a lower cost solution or swapping to a longer-term contract with a cheaper per-year rate.
3. IT ROI
This metric helps evaluate the actual return of investment (ROI) for the dollars spent on IT projects and initiatives. Successful organizations usually aim for a 3:1 ROI to make the most of their IT investments. You can calculate your IT ROI by dividing the benefits of your IT program by the cost of investment.
Operational metrics are used to track the performance of an organization in real time or over a specific time period. When considering the IT department, operational metrics are focused at measuring the performance of IT functions and resources such as services, technologies and workforce used to conduct business operations. Common operational metrics include:
4. Project success rate
This operational metric helps measure the percentage of successfully completed IT projects as well as the percentage of projects that are successfully completed on time.
5. SLA hit rate
To calculate the SLA hit rate, internal IT teams and MSPs agree upon the numbers in terms of performance and quality and measure them either monthly or quarterly to see whether the service-level agreements are being delivered upon. You can calculate the percentage of tickets with the previously agreed upon service-level agreement.
6. First contact resolution rate
With this metric, you can calculate the percentage of tickets that are resolved on the first touch point. This is an important measure of how efficiently the IT team is working to resolve incidents.
7. Tickets per period
Most IT departments use this metric to track the number of tickets generated on a daily or weekly basis. The tracking of this operational metric depends entirely on what your executive or clients care to know about.
8. Number of tasks automated
This metric should always record a YoY increase. Common tasks that you can automate to boost efficiency are patching, user onboarding and auto-remediation of common tickets. If your RMM or endpoint management solution isn’t helping you with automation of common IT processes, you should upgrade to a best-in-class solution that can help you automate your everyday tasks.
9. Endpoints per technician
This particular metric will vary largely depending on whether you’re an internal IT department or an MSP. This metric helps you evaluate the number of endpoints each of your technicians is responsible for. A best-in-class RMM solution can easily support the ratio of 500 endpoints to 1 technician without burning out the technicians due to lack of automation.
10. Retention rate of staff
With this metric, you can measure how long you retain your staff. In case the turnover is high, you might want to track the training costs, time it takes to train a new hire or the time it takes to hire new staff. While measuring the retention rate, you must exclude staff members that have been terminated for poor performance.
System metrics are focused on ensuring that all IT systems such as hardware and applications are operating reliably. These metrics help organizations evaluate historical system performance and accordingly predict future performance. System metrics equip IT teams with the information required to scale their business and also pursue new opportunities that are largely reliant on a stable IT infrastructure.
11. Total IT assets
With this KPI, you can track and record the number of IT assets in your IT infrastructure. You can also segment this asset information based on the type of IT asset such as the number of desktops, laptops, phones and servers.
12. System availability (uptime)
Another important system KPI to track is system availability or uptime, which is the percentage of time that end users are able to work on your IT systems. To adequately measure this KPI, you must refer to the rule of 9’s. You must aim for a minimum of 99.9% uptime that is about 9 hours per year or 10 minutes per week.
13. Server availability (uptime)
Server availability is measured as the percentage of time that the servers on your network are up and running. You can calculate server uptime by subtracting the total downtime from the total time and dividing the result by the total amount of time over a specific period. Similar to system availability, server uptime of over 99.9% is considered favorable.
14. Server and/or cloud utilization
Server utilization is yet another important metric that helps monitor and track system performance. With this metric, you can track the amount of time a server is busy. Some organizations also track cloud utilization as a way of measuring their system performance.
15. Aggregate workstation utilization
Workstation utilization is another important KPI serving as a measure of system performance. It tracks the percentage of total workstation memory utilized in an organization.
Security metrics are a critical IT KPI focused on measuring how efficiently your security efforts are working toward keeping your systems and networks protected from security threats. Tracking security metrics is critical to maintaining the integrity of your IT infrastructure and making regular adjustments to ensure you stay on top of your security efforts.
16. Antivirus/antimalware deployment
This metric tracks the deployment status of antivirus/antimalware on your systems. As an important security metric, this KPI ideally should be 100% for your IT infrastructure to be performing most efficiently and securely.
17. Number of open vulnerabilities
With this metric, IT teams and MSPs can track the number of open vulnerabilities for both computers and servers on their network. It helps monitor your IT infrastructure’s exposure to potential threats and enables you to come up with strategies to bolster your company’s IT security posture with quicker incident remediation.
18. Patch success rate
Monitoring the success rate of patch deployment is critical for ensuring that your systems are well-patched and up-to-date. The patch deployment success metric captures the percentage of patches deployed and helps track the progress of the patch deployment process by your IT department.
19. Days since last incident
With this metric, you can calculate the number of days that have passed since the last incident in your IT infrastructure. This helps IT teams and MSPs measure the efficacy of any strategic and technological changes they may have made to reduce the likelihood of incidents. Ideally, the gap between two incidents should keep on steadily increasing to account for security upgrades.
20. Backup success rate
Another great security metric that can help monitor and improve your security health. It helps track the percentage of machines backed up and measures the number of days since last backup. With this metric, you can stay on top of your backup routine and significantly minimize the possibility of losing your critical data to a security incident.
Improve IT performance with Kaseya
If you feel like your current IT stack is getting in the way of you tracking your KPIs and boosting IT performance, let’s talk. Kaseya has a wide range of industry-leading IT management solutions that can be yours at 30% less cost than traditional IT solutions. Learn more about how Kaseya VSA can automate your everyday tasks and help improve your IT performance by requesting your free demo today.