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Is IT Benchmarking Valuable or a Waste?

The results of your benchmarking are in. What do you do with it? If the answer is “nothing,” then you have wasted company time and money. Pearl Zhu writes about having the right motivation to undergo IT benchmarking in the business.

Make it Worth Your While

Before you start benchmarking, decide in advance what types of changes will be made as a result of the data revealed. Without such decisions already made, there is no literally no reason for benchmarking to occur. Executive buy-in is crucial here, because it helps to ensure that the agreed upon changes will actually be executed.

Zhu identifies industry, relative size, and technology adoption curve/strategic use of technology as three main factors to consider when you are selecting against whom to benchmark. When the analysis of the data is combined with robust methodology and current metrics, it might be seen together as a diagnostic tool. It can potentially highlight issues and deliver insights to both the enterprise and involved service providers. Benefits can occur at the macro and micro levels:

At macro level, the CIO needs to be focused on a more complete picture. They need to be able to identify that for every dollar that spend on IT, you generate x dollars in profit and that is contributing to the overall company’s performance relative to its peers. On a more micro level, benchmarks can help procurement understand what the appropriate cost of goods and services in the market should be to be able to stay on top of purchasing contracts. Benchmarking operational costs helps to deal with the endless tension in the allocation of resources between keeping the lights on today vs. the innovation needed to make sure you are around in the future.

So yes, IT benchmarking can be a great boon if used with a goal in mind and thoughtfully built. Go figure! You can read the original post here: http://futureofcio.blogspot.com/2014/10/is-it-benchmarking-valuable-or-waste.html

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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