How Does Your Performance Compare with Your Peers? The Cloud Has the Answers

You’re the coach of your local football team. The season is about to start and your team has worked hard – putting in long hours on the field and at the gym. You’ve whiteboarded and practiced plays until everyone has them down to a fine art. You’re proud of your team – but is it enough? How do you stack up against the rest of the league? Until you go head-to-head with other teams, you just don’t know.

It’s the same with business. You work hard to streamline and strengthen your business processes. But unless you compare yourself to others, you risk falling behind in an incredibly competitive marketplace. That’s why internal and industry benchmarks are so important. They let you see what you’re doing well – and what you need to improve. That allows you to have meaningful conversations about your performance – and to concentrate on what matters.

Benchmarks in Action

IT Service Management is a perfect example. Let’s take a hypothetical example. Assume you close high priority incidents in 8 hours on average. You’re happy – over the last year, you’ve brought that down from 10 hours. But, is it good enough? What if you knew that other IT organizations did it in half the time? It’s a completely different picture. You may have improved – but you’re still 4 hours behind. And, that 4 hours is hurting your business – whether that’s measured in lost productivity, lost revenues, or poor customer satisfaction.

And benchmarks do more than identify problems – they help you find solutions. Let’s come back to our IT Service Management example again. You dig a little deeper and find that you’re closing 30% of incidents on first assignment. On average, everyone else closes 60%. That’s a good indication that incidents are spending too much time bouncing around your support team. That’s probably one of the main reasons why it’s taking you so long to close high-priority incidents. And, knowing that is the first key step to solving the problem.

Here’s the point – industry benchmarks give you insights into your own business performance – and help you to improve that performance. Without benchmarks, you’re flying blind and risk becoming irrelevant. With benchmarks, you know exactly how you’re doing – and what it takes to become a leader.

The Power of the Cloud

Until recently, getting benchmark data was an enormous problem. All of the key information was on-prem, tucked away in everybody’s private data centers. Running industry surveys was incredibly costly – and only gave an incomplete snapshot in time. There was no way to track trends, or even to ensure that surveyed companies used the same core metrics.

The cloud has changed all of that. Enterprises are moving their data, processes and applications to the cloud at an incredibly fast pace. Cloud vendors now have a massive amount of operational data in one place – not just from one customer, but across entire industries. By anonymizing and analyzing this data, cloud vendors can give customers up-to-date industry benchmarks and insights that just weren’t available before. That’s exciting – and it’s the cloud that makes it possible.