The time to consider managed services is when you realize you’re not getting the results you need by managing your IT yourself. How do you determine that? Assess yourself with these key metrics to determine whether managed services can help your business.
Infrastructure and Application Metrics
These metrics reflect the results you’re getting from your current infrastructure and your approach to support.
- Are you getting the network and application performance you need? Assess performance details and performance variability, along with any user complaints about performance.
- Are your resources under- or over-utilized, or are they appropriately sized to meet your demand?
- Are you achieving acceptable uptime? Excessive downtime creates significant costs for your business.
- Are your batch jobs running within their specified SLA? First make sure you’ve determined an SLA for every batch job—how long you expect it to take to run, and then determine how many batch jobs are actually completing within the required period.
- Do you have frequent production problems? If you’re having daily, severe problems, that’s a good sign that your current approach to systems management is not effective.
- Is your change process under control or do you need frequent, unscheduled fixes? Not only are unscheduled fixes disruptive, they indicate that routine maintenance isn’t being performed effectively.
The infrastructure and application metrics reference deployed infrastructure. New infrastructure and changes to existing infrastructure happen in the context of projects. You should assess how effectively your IT is performing those projects.
- Are projects being completed on time and within budget? Is the IT team overloaded with routine maintenance and upgrades, or are they able to handle the projects that provide business value?
- Are the end users affected by the projects satisfied when the new technology is in place?
- Are projects being completed with defects or with second phases necessary to complete items that couldn’t be done within the original schedule and budget? Additional phases are fine if they were part of the original plan, but if your team continually has to shrink scope to complete projects, you should explore other approaches to planning and delivering the work.
Human Resources Metrics
The IT work you can complete depends on how many IT resources you have, how skilled they are, and how long they stay with your business.
- Do you have enough IT staff to complete the work you need done?
- Does your IT staff have the skills needed to support the technology your business requires?
- Do you have excessive turnover of your IT team?
IT is ultimately in service of the business employees and customers who use your IT resources.
- Are the users happy with the level of technology they use or do you hear many complaints?
- Do users receive help with their support problems rapidly or are there many delays?