For an organization to determine a performance measurement, they must fully analyze the information given and collected from the targeted component. In many cases this process is used in employee evaluations, process evaluations, and strategy evaluations to help the organization determine whether or not the output meets the expectations set by the organization’s guidelines. In the SIM survey, the organizations participating were asked to pick five things by which they measure their internal IT performance. According to the survey the organizations picked; availability/Up-Time (56.1%), Cost Control/Reduction (30.5%), Customer Satisfaction (26.2%), Cybersecurity (24.1%), and Return of Equity (23.2%) as their top five performance measurements for IT.

Availability/Up-Time

IT availability is essentially how regularly the IT system or application can be accessed successfully without issues or downtime. As more and more organizations go paperless and enter into the digital realm, availability is a crucial element to take into consideration. If all of your organization’s business operations and procedures are performed in an IT reliant environment, the availability of that environment is critical to your organization’s ability to operate. IT availability has been a growing concern since Cloud computing and outsourcing has grown in popularity. This is because Cloud computing and outsourcing takes the reigns out the organization’s hands when it comes to their information systems. Many vendors that handle IT functions will have Help Desk features and disaster recovery measures set in place to help assist the end-users with issues that arise, but the organization’s information and data being stored on a vendor’s server is vulnerable to the third-party’s server availability. Organizations that have their own in-house IT infrastructure rely on their IT department’s knowledge and abilities to maintain their information system’s integrity and availability.

Cost Control/Reduction

An organization’s amount of spending as it relates to IT has always been a touchy subject. IT is an ever-growing creature, and you definitely pay to stay on the leading edge. As an organization strives to maintain a competitive advantage in the modern market, IT costs can exponentially rise. Much of this can be determined with a Cost-Benefit analysis and analyzing your financial data to come up with a functional financial forecast. There is a thin line between underspending on your IT and losing competitive advantage, and overspending on IT and losing on the financial bottom end with lost equity.

Customer Satisfaction

”The customer is always right. “, “The customer is king.” these are all phrases keyed by organizations because without customers, you have no revenue and therefore no organization. This is why customer satisfaction is a critical factor for an organization to take into consideration. Many IT factors can play into customer satisfaction such as; service availability, service accuracy, ease of access, ease of navigation, and customer gratification. Many organizations use IT to represent their organization online to existing customers and potential customers alike. This interaction may be the only interaction your organization has with the customer (especially with online shopping). An organization must monitor their IT end-user services to ensure their integrity is intact and that the customer is able to attain what they are expecting in a user-friendly, accurate, and efficient manner. This also means maintaining your customer’s trust in safely storing their sensitive data and protecting them from things such as identity theft or property theft. Customer loyalty leads to return customers and brand integrity that will lead to more customers and revenue for your organization.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity refers to how secure your organizations and customer’s data is being kept from unauthorized access and exploitation. This IT performance measure will (presumably) raise in the ranks as more and more organizations utilize third-party services (Cloud Services), and third-party vendors. As aforementioned, more and more organizations are going paperless which means everything will be stored on a server. The security of this information (financial data, customer data, organizational data, employee data, etc.) is crucial to maintaining your organization’s brand, financial, and other sensitive data integrity.

Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is where an organization takes their Net Profit and divides it by their Average Shareholder Equity for the Period. So essentially, the higher the organizations ROE in comparison to the industry overall, the better as long as it was achieved at a high risk. IT investments can be extensive, especially with full IT infrastructure replacements. This seems to be the low-man on the totem pole with the organizations involved in this survey, but a large investment like this can make or break some smaller organizations. Performing a cost/benefit analysis before any large-scale project can protect an organization from spending more than they expect to get in return from the service. Adequate cost control measures such as functional financial forecasting are widely used across the modern industry to help an organization set goals and determine whether or not the service will be able to meet these goals in the allotted amount of time, thus deeming the investment a viable option.

Closure

Although the SIM survey doesn’t represent every organization, it represents a reasonable number of well-educated or established organizations (801 organizations equaling 1213 individual SIM members to be exact). These organizations are competitive organizations that are leaders in the modern industry and the data collected by this survey can be extremely useful to newer organizations or organizations leaning toward new IT implementation or change management. The survey asked these organizations about the measures they determine their IT performance by and Availability was first at 56.1%, followed by Cost Control/Reduction at 30.5%, then Customer Satisfaction at 26.2%, Cybersecurity at 24.1% and lastly ROE was rated at 23.2%. In order for an organization to determine the factors by which they will rate the performance of a service, employee, or product, they must carefully evaluate their plans and goals and collect data to analyze whether or not the output of it meets their ultimate expectations.