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GartnerMark McDonald, group vice president and head of research in Gartner Executive Programs, suggests replacing the IT budget / revenue ratio with a metric that has meaning – like IT headcount to Free Cash Flow.  That is a metric one CIO is using and it makes more sense because it can be managed.

He suggests measuring IT headcount because more than 70% of most IT budgets are already contractually committed – effectively removing them for short-term management changes.  IT headcount is the result of factors the CIO can control, like the level of automation, the skill of their people, the structure of their operations and the nature of their IT investment budget.

McDonald suggests that free cash flow is a better numerator, as it is more indicative of a company’s health.  Management can influence free cash slow and manage it to some extent in either a strong or weak economies.  Case in point; look at organizations building cash in the recession.  Free cash flow is also something that IT can influence as IT systems integrate process and information flows which improves end-to-end process and cash performance.

It is harder to measure, free cash flow and IT headcount, but it should produce a clearer signal and inform better management decisions and actions.

See full article: http://blogs.gartner.com/mark_mcdonald/2010/04/06/it-spend-as-a-percent-of-revenue-%E2%80%93-a-dubious-metric-at-best/

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PinkA laundry list of sample metrics for IT processes was developed by Pink Elephant.  This document provides a detailed list of over one hundred metrics for the Service Desk and each of the ten ITIL support and delivery processes.  The list includes ITIL metrics for:

  • Configuration Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Service Delivery Processes
  • Capacity Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Financial Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Incident Management

Click here to download the complete “Laundry List of ITIL Metrics”.

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GroupSeven spending benchmarks are used to help university campuses evaluate IT services. By benchmarking against institutions with similar missions, IT leaders can gain insights into how to best optimize these investments.

Benchmark #1 – Budget Profile [shows how IT dollars are allocated across institutional budget classifications]
Benchmark #2 – Budget Support Level [IT dollars are normalized for institutional size]
Benchmark #3 – Budget Impact [ratio of IT budget to total institution budget]
Benchmark #4 – People Supported per IT Staff
Benchmark #5 – Computers Supported per IT Staff
Benchmark #6 – Staffing Profile Per Service Area
Benchmark #7 – Computer Availability

This article shows actual benchmark results in these areas. Compiled by David Smallen and Karen Leach at Hamilton College. Published in Educause Quarterly in November 2002. The article can be found:

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0234.pdf

This report was followed up by a 32 page paper entitled “INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BENCHMARKS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS” (written by Smallen and Leach) which was published by the Council of Independent Colleges in June 2004. This report contains more data and a more complete explanation of the benchmarks. The paper can be found:

http://www.cic.edu/publications/books_reports/IT_paper.pdf

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A “Information Technology Operation Benchmarks Report” created by Nick Ganesan, CIO/Associate Vice-Chancellor for ITTS aQuality Benchmarkt Fayetteville State University.  The report contains detailed benchmark data for:

  1. IT Budget Profile
  2. IT Budget per IT User
  3. IT Budget as a Percentage of Institutional Budget
  4. IT Users to IT Staff ratio
  5. IT Staff to Number of PCs – Ratio
  6. Staffing Profile by service area
  7. PCs to IT User Ratio
  8. Central IT Support Percentage
  9. Staff ratio by service areas

The benchmark data is against IT services at universities located in the United States.

Location of Report: http://www.kfupm.edu.sa/sict/ictc/related%20documents/IT%20Benchmark/Fayetteville%20State%20University%20IT_Benchmarks_ver1.pdf

Local Copy: IT Benchmark for Universities – Fayetteville State University Report

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Cem Kaner, a professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, has done research on the ratio of software testers to software developers. His presentation entitled “Managing the Proportion of Testers to Other Developers” is partially based on a meeting of the Software Test Managers Roundtable (STMR 3) in Fall 2001.

FIT

FIT

The study found that:
– There were very small ratios (1-to-7 and less) and very
large ratios (5-to-1).
– Some of each worked and some of each failed.
– Many remembered successful projects with ratios lower than 1-to-1 more favorably than successful projects with larger ratios.

Read the paper to find out why is there such a range of successful ratios, and why test managers be happy with relatively low ratios?

See: http://www.kaner.com/pdfs/pnsqc_ratios.pdf and http://www.kaner.com/

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Staff Support

Staff Support

IT Staff Benchmarks

Level One – Basic helpdesk phone support
– 1:80 to 1:110
Level Two – Installation, configuration, and
desktop support
– 1:45 to 1:85
Level Three – Systems, communications,
high end support and design
– 1:250 to 1:400

There is no single answer

Depends on
– Staff expertise
– Technical proficiency of end users
– Number of servers
– Number of remote branches and distance
– Level of high tech systems deployed by the bank
Leave enough room for project resources!

Source: “The Business of IT: Running Your Bank’s IT Department Like a Business”, Brintech, February 17, 2005

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RFID Tag

RFID Tag

Odin Technologies, an RFID integrator and vendor in its latest IT asset tracking report shows, that only within the last six months, passive RFID technology has delivered increased performance on IT devices like servers, laptops, blades and other high-value IT assets, according to a report.

The study’s results showed that, with RFID tags, IT personnel could inventory a rack of 40 servers in 12 seconds or identify all IT equipment within a typical cubicle five times faster than manual methods with 100 percent accurate data entry.

Source: http://www.cio.com.au/index.php/id;187166024;pp;1

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