Many IT service management (ITSM) strategies focus on capturing incident-related information, for the purpose of tracking and monitoring on a case by case basis. However, that data contains a wealth of knowledge and insight about the overall performance and service delivery of the IT organization as a whole. That’s where service performance management comes in.
Unlike traditional IT performance management, which centers on system availability and uptime, service performance management strives to optimize the way IT departments allocate and utilize their human resources, to ensure the most efficient and effective service delivery to end users. Through the definition of performance standards, as well as the ongoing monitoring of relevant and meaningful metrics and key performance indicators such as average time to resolution or mean time to repair (MTTR), percent of backlogged incidents vs. total job tickets, first call resolution (for IT support departments with call centers), or average number of open incidents per staff member, service performance management helps guarantee that help desk and service teams are operating as productively as possible.
Although ITIL does not specifically address the topic of performance management, version three does call for the continuous measurement and improvement of all key ITIL processes – including service management.
With service performance management, companies can:
- Clearly establish performance goals related to the delivery of IT service across all channels (IT service desk, call center, self-service, etc.), and communicate them to all key stakeholders
- Improve visibility into service performance, and more accurately measure progress towards defined objectives
- Adhere to service level agreements (SLAs)
- Facilitate continuous assessment, evaluation, and refinement of core IT service processes
- Eliminate waste and reduce support-related costs
- Enhance end user satisfaction
- Create a culture of accountability across all levels of the IT organization
Many experts are validating the need for more comprehensive performance management strategies when it comes to IT services. For example, IDC has stated that “tight budgets and increasingly complex IT environments mean that IT operations teams must operate as efficiently as possible in order to keep the business running and end users satisfied”.