Overheard at Bamboo Lounge: Making sense of IT Ops KPIs

Overheard at Bamboo Lounge: Making sense of IT Ops KPIs

Every IT Ops team uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to track metrics that keep them accountable, improving, and contributing to long-term success. But it’s easy for teams to lose sight of what KPIs to use, how many they should use, and how to derive meaning from them.

To shed light on what constitutes a meaningful KPI, Sterling Nostedt, BigPanda’s Value and Adoption advisor, hosted a community conversation which spanned across multiple industries. Chad Finnigan, Senior Director of Application Modernization for Lumen and Lisa Nygaard, Senior Engineers of Monitoring Applications for Abbott Laboratories added great insight into their personal experiences with KPIs and what drove them to make it a priority for 2022.

Chad and Lisa shared some of the goals they’d set for their teams over the last couple of years, including increasing AIOps user adoption, proactively measuring their applications, and getting incidents to the right queues immediately. But they acknowledged that it’s not always the easiest task to know exactly what a company should measure.

The important place to start is by attaching a specific metric to a business need. In Chad’s case, his KPIs were a bit obvious as they rolled over from previous years, but he recommends meeting with key business leaders to determine objectives. Lumen specifically wanted to track availability, total number of incidents, and improving Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR)—three pretty common KPIs.

Lisa recommended that IT leaders seek feedback from management and to set KPIs that will allow you to show the value of various practices. “Whether it’s correlation or bringing in new integrations, you want to see what it was before and then show the value of it afterwards,” she noted.

Chad corroborated this sentiment, “As technologists, we’re in the weeds. We’re looking at our own successes. But what is the outcome?”

Not Sure Where to Start? Try These Common KPIs

There are, of course, additional common KPIs to acknowledge, which our audience highlighted throughout the discussion as helpful ways to measure IT Ops success:

  • MTTx
  • Signal-to-noise ratios
  • Compression
  • Incident severity

Specifically for business leaders, these KPIs stood out as priority measurements:

  • Adoption: active users overtime
  • Feature impact: automation impact and savings over time
  • By LOB: impact to LOB over time
  • By resolver/area of expertise: pressure on team

KPIs have the ability to allow a business to utilize metrics that can keep your IT Ops team accountable as well as contribute to long-term success. Regardless of industry, it is no wonder why so many are making them a priority for 2022.