Service and Support as a Business | KPIs that Tell the Big Picture
Most IT professionals are familiar with the operational metrics of service and support. KPI’s such as cost per ticket, first contact resolution rate, and mean time to resolve are well understood and almost universally applied. Yet even support organizations that have mastered these metrics and achieved a degree of operational success often struggle to gain visibility and credibility within their own enterprise. The all-too-common result is that service and support operates at a subsistence level, and lacks the necessary resources to deliver effective levels of support.
The business world offers a potential solution to this dilemma. When a business is not performing well, investments in the business dry up because there is no reasonable expectation of earning a profit. By contrast, businesses that are profitable receive adequate funding because they are able to attract investment capital seeking a positive return. So what would happen if IT service and support organizations began operating more like businesses, and were able to attract funding and other resources based upon their profitability?
In this article I outline an approach for managing IT service and support as a business. Additionally, I propose a handful of business metrics that can be used to quantify and communicate the profitability of service and support. Finally, I discuss the need to adopt a paradigm shift for any service and support organization that aspires to realize the benefits of operating as a true business.