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Metrics  to Build a Great CIO Dashboard

The traditional transaction-oriented systems view of IT is dead long back. Gone are the days of CIOs, who could do with a few metrics, analytics and spreadsheets. Over the last half of a decade, the CIOs role has undergone a dramatic change.

Movate - Metrics

The Web 2.0 has made the role of a CIO far more measurable and accountable than it was ever before. With digital disrupting the enterprise world, a CIO is now responsible for delivering it all – Speed, Security, and Innovation. A CIO is at the sharp end of business change, isn’t it?

Measuring, showcasing and improving the right metrics can help the CIO deliver expected business value. Right metrics help CIOs gain credibility with the CEO and CFO, and also flaunt his function’s real contribution to the bottom line in 2018.

Finding and collating data into a dashboard is easy. However, it becomes tricky to figure out the right set of metrics to show on the dashboard. Many CIOs battle with getting the value of IT to the stakeholders and business leadership. The age-old operational level metrics such as cost measures and availability metrics or call centre metrics hold little to no significance for business leaders today. Large numbers of CIOs miss the bus on financials, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

A good CIO dashboard links business functions to IT capabilities and communicates health, delivery, outcome, and agility in the IT function. It’s constituted by reliable, repeatable and actionable metrics that help a CIO in:

  • Proactive decision making
  • Preventing incidents
  • Boosting development efficiency

Here are the top 5 metrics that build a great CIO dashboard. These metrics are likely to matter a lot this year, and in the years to come. 

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The Top 5 Metrics that Build a Great CIO Dashboard

1) Operational Dashboards to Monitor IT Operations

Operational metrics drive organizations to focus on their operational excellence and urge the management to take corrective measures in case the business objectives are not attained. A typical operational dashboard that measures and monitors IT operations would include:

  • Key batch SLAs addressed
  • The number of production incidents by severity
  • The number of unplanned alterations to the production systems
  • Complexity scores of key applications
  • The percentage of applications on chosen technologies
  • Graph of online application performance
  • Successful execution of automation jobs
  • Effort savings 

2) App Performance & Availability Dashboards

A CIO plays the role of a steward driving innovation within the organization by powering daily operations and also customer engagement initiatives. Hence, they need to prudently communicate the IT value to business leadership. The jumping pad of this communication would be to articulate the impact of applications’ performance via dashboards to business peers. High-performing applications are the need of the hour since any deflection in the app speed can have an adverse impact on employee productivity, customers’ transactions, product delivery time and other business outcomes.

  • Security Dashboards: The ability to ride seamlessly in the digital environment depends heavily on the security position of the organization. A CIO needs to identify the relevant security metrics that can be delivered in a recurring and sustainable manner to the business executives and leadership. 
  • Application Availability: It’s a measure of the percentage of time the application runs smoothly. However, this is a tricky one as the application that’s available for some users might be unavailable to a few others. To solve this, it’s important to define the primary functions desired of an application. If these are not functioning properly, then the application can be considered to be down.
  • Application Performance: This is a measure of the functional and technical health of applications. It records the average time taken for the application screen to load up for the user. It also tracks the variable of application performance that is an excellent indicator of customer service level (CSL) too. So if an application’s CSL is 90% or above, it’s running as expected; however, if it’s any percentage below this, it indicates varying degrees of unattained results.
While the importance of complying with laws, regulations and contractual demands from business partners and customers cannot be overlooked by a CIO, it’s imperative to communicate tangible and relevant security metrics such as:
  • Total number of network intrusions curbed per year
  • Total number of attempts and type of security breaches
  • Information security budget – what percentage of IT budget
  • Financial losses due to security breaches
  • Cost of data breaches
  • Security testing coverage
  • Risk assessment coverage
  • Total number of known vulnerability incidents
  • Mean time to patch
  • Mean time to incident discovery
  • Mean time to complete changes
  • Percentage of breaches detected by internal controls 

3) Utilization Dashboard – Resource and Infrastructure

IT infrastructure is business-critical today. The need of the hour is to rightly link the IT activities and their outcome to the optimum utilization of business resources. All the activities within the IT portfolio mirror the efficiency and effectiveness that in turn help CIOs prioritize investments and proactive decision making, better IT strategic planning and a work environment facilitating the timely delivery of desired and tangible results.

The utilization dashboard allows for a high-level visualization of the current consumption of resources and also the available remaining capacity. Such a dashboard will help CIOs in indentifying any current risks related to resource constraints or overallocation (resources allocated over 100%). 

Such metrics assist in drawing inferences and taking a decision on future investments. Not only can CIOs optimize the resource utilization with the utilization dashboards, but they can improve the customer satisfaction by optimizing the service quality of the organization. Using utilization dashboards, CIOs can also monitor their team’s productivity through billable and non-billable time.

4) Customer Experience Dashboard

It’s important for modern CIOs to establish some benchmarking metrics for end user satisfaction. A modern CIO can make a smart pick from surveys, focus groups, etc., and find out what works best for the organization. It’s to be clearly understood that no feedback from the users does not mean 100% user satisfaction. Tracking these metrics regularly and making the same available to business leadership will help CIOs consistently improve the IT environment within the organization.

CIOs can use metrics listed below to provide a consistently rewarding experience to users:

  • Average time on the site
  • Time to serve end user IT needs
  • Top content viewed
  • Top compliments or comments
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Tools for the New Age CIO 

CIOs today have got a full plate of responsibilities – from building relationships with internal and external stakeholders and introducing new systems/technologies or processes to building their teams and much more.

Adding more and more and more to the plate can stretch CIOs thin. And with only limited time in the day, CIOs need to figure out some new tools that can help them get smarter results. 

5) Analytics Driven Dashboard

This dashboard offers a unifying mechanism track, assess and predict the management and financials of large systems and processes. It also helps in:

  •  Interactive graphical representation of complex information
  • Understanding key indicators for project, growth and volatility
  • Getting the insights into accurate cost decision analytics
  • Operational and Security analytics 

Predictive Analytics

CIOs can leverage predictive analytics in apt scenarios to attain quickest return on investment (ROI). They need to devise methodologies for their predictive modeling techniques outlining big data, infrastructure and applications to steer their organizations forward. To accomplish this feat, CIOs need to execute a reliable architecture for building and managing predictive analytics models (employing automation) to assess the quality of resources, allocation/requirement of present and future resources, failure of IT servers, etc.

Mushtaq Ahmad

CIO & Global Head CIS Service Transformation at CSS Corp

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