One doesn’t know if the universe is endless. But one thing I’m convinced of is the fact that the universe of IT KPIs is infinite. I wrote many articles about the KPIs of various business areas — finance, HR, social media, etc. And for sure, each of these areas posses a considerable amount of KPIs. However, compared to IT, that looks super-tiny.
Each IT Sub-Domain Holds An Enormous Amount Of KPIs
Of course, this isn’t surprising. The area of IT is such a vast field with so many sub-areas. Just think about software development, maintenance & support, hardware operations, etc. And each of these sub-domains holds an enormous amount of tailored KPIs.
That’s why this article’s goal isn’t in providing all possible KPIs. On the contrary, I’ll try to introduce the most important.
Let’s Rock’n’Roll — Here Are The 10 Most Important IT KPIs!
1 — Open vs. Resolved Tickets
As an IT provider, this KPI reflects a super-important quality metric. It provides you with an overview of open tickets as well as closed ones. Worth to mention, that this is a KPI that shouldn’t be monitored as a snapshot. On the contrary, monitoring the KPI over a more extended period holds the real value.
2 — IT Costs
Yes, this one is basic. And yes, it is one of the most important. Regardless if you are an IT company or have a completely different focus. Monitoring your IT costs is a top priority. For this KPI, it is essential to dig into the details. What costs are related to hardware, software, or resources? What about administration or maintenance?
3 — IT Return-Of-Invest
An IT KPI I consider as essential. The KPI calculation depends on the type of your company and whether you want to track the overall IT ROI or a specific one. In its most simplistic form, you put your company’s revenue in relation to your IT spendings. Nonetheless, you can also measure particular investments or developments.
4 — Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)
If you are a software provider —especially with cloud-based solutions— you should have a close eye on the IT KPI. The KPI calculates the average time it takes to bring your system back to operations after an incident. Especially in case you are committed to SLAs, the relevance of this KPI is enormous. However, even without SLAs, the KPI reflects a critical quality metric.
5 — Server/Service/Software Availability
Similar to IT KPI #4, this KPI provides clarity about your service quality. The KPI calculates the percentage of time your server, service, or software was available during a defined period. Usually, the KPI is calculated on a monthly base.
6 — Number Of Critical Bugs
Here’s another quality indicator you should monitor very closely. Software bugs are usually clustered according to their severity. Depending on your definition, critical bugs are definitely the ones that massively impacts your system. Therefore, the number of critical bugs should be close to zero at any time.
7 — New Features
If you are developing software, this IT KPI is at the top of your list. The KPI monitors the number of new features your company developed during a defined period. Usually, companies track the KPI according to their development process. For example, if a company develops in bi-weekly sprints, they calculate the number of new features for a similar period.
8 — Estimate Accuracy
I know this an IT KPI every developer hates, yet it is so important. The KPI puts the actual effort of feature development in relation to the estimate. Worth to mention, that this KPI is not about blaming the developer for wrong forecasts. On the contrary, it is about learning and making the planning process more robust. For example, if estimates are always 15% less than actual values, you can work with that figure for more stable planning.
9 — Number Of Security Incidents
The relevance of this IT KPI is steadily growing. Even small and mid-sized companies are very often confronted with cyber attacks and security breaches. Therefore, this KPI reflects an essential metric to have a clear overview of your security.
10 — Number Of Tests
Testing is such a broad field that would fill an entire blog post. Accordingly, this KPI only scratches the surface. Actually, the KPI can be clustered according to different aspects: functional, security, performance, etc. Moreover, the number of tests reflects a super-high-level KPI in that context. If you are dealing with that aspect, you have to go more into detail (test coverage, manual vs. automated tests, etc.).