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Each month, I highlight one Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for service and support. I define the KPI, provide recent benchmarking data for the metric, and discuss key correlations and cause-and-effect relationships for the metric. The purpose of the column is to familiarize you with the KPIs that really matter to your organization and to provide you with actionable insight on how to leverage these KPIs to improve your performance!

Last month I began this two-part series on Return on Investment (ROI) for service and support. In part 1, I defined how value is created in IT service and support. This month, in part 2, I will go through a case study that calculates the ROI for a particular support organization.

ROI Case Study

A mid-sized service desk at an insurance company had an operating expense of $4.8 million per year. The desk supported 8,190 users and handled 21,300 tickets per month. Through aggressive problem management, over the course of a year this service desk was able to reduce ticket volumes from 2.6 tickets per user per month to just 2.2 tickets per user per month. The table below summarizes the results of their problem management initiative.

ROI, Problem Management

At a savings of $94 per user per year, the total savings attributable to problem management is estimated to be $813,100 ($94 annual savings per user x 8,650 users supported).

Technology can also reduce incoming contacts and hence the cost of support. Password management tools are a perfect example of this. In North America last year, password resets comprised more than 25% of all contacts to the service desk. By adopting a password management tool, a typical service desk can eliminate half or more of the resets that would otherwise be completed by a live agent. This amounts to real savings for any support organization!

Last month we discussed how service and support can make end-users more productive, as illustrated in the figure below. Moreover, the economic benefits of improved worker productivity can be quantified.

ROI, user productivity, service desk

Let’s apply these productivity gains to the insurance company in our case study.

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Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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