If you’ve paid any heed to the bucketful of craziness that is the American presidential election, you know that falsehoods and misconceptions are being flung every which way. And though they may seem harmless, every fabrication adds to the already intricate web of misinformation that surrounds us.
A similar scenario occurs in IT, where many IT organizations hold onto preconceived notions of analytics applications that prevent them from realizing the potential value. Any number of myths may be stopping your IT leader from investing in analytics — they might already rely on reporting and feel analytics would be redundant; they could be receiving pushback to drive IT costs down, not add new tools; or they could simply have an inaccurate or outdated understanding of the merit of analytics. Below we debunk those fables and other common myths about analytics for IT.
1. IT Processes Will Become Unbearably Cluttered
IT organizations are already facing the issue of convoluted processes impeding employees’ productivity. After all, 66 percent of IT professionals blame IT complexity for making their jobs more difficult. Analytics applications offer a solution to this growing problem by linking all of your core IT data sources together for a comprehensive view of IT operations. With analytics your department acquires the means to identify high-impact bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and can use these insights to de-clutter daily activities.
Numerify has seen these results in action with our own customers. One client’s IT division used analytics to increase visibility of service incidents and were subsequently able to identify that miscategorized tickets had been driving up service volume. After isolating over half of tickets as calls rather than incidents, the team implemented a new classification system and reduced their service volume by 50 percent. The reduction in incident tickets also meant the ITSM director no longer needed to backfill several Call Analyst positions.
2. Analytics Tools Will Demolish Our Budget
Perhaps leaders at your company think they’re already allocating too much of their budget to IT. That may be true — IT is a $3.5 trillion industry, after all — however, today’s IT departments also serve a much broader purpose than decades past. IT’s responsibilities now encompass not just technical support and hardware maintenance, but also oversight and upkeep of data management, data storage, software, networks, security, and the digital corporate infrastructure.
Analytics can give executives better visibility of the myriad costs associated with IT operations, as well as expose problems or inefficiencies that are raising expenses. Furthermore, analytics applications delivered via the cloud are relatively affordable, available at a lower subscription fee with minimal upkeep costs.
3. Generating Reports Works Just Fine, Thanks
If complacency with report building is holding you back, consider asking yourself whether your current process for generating reports actually works well. What about when you factor in the time spent creating those reports compared to the value of insights gleaned? Regardless of how skilled your personnel are at collecting and deciphering data, doing so manually or via basic reporting tools takes up considerable resources. Manual report efforts are also subject to human error and inaccuracies derived from stale data.
One customer’s IT staff spent 55 hours each month manually building reports to track service metrics. Eventually the team realized these reports failed to answer key operational questions, and deployed analytics to automate KPI tracking. Beyond enabling IT teams to investigate critical business data in a timely manner, analytics let you create custom dashboards and analyses pre-populated with the metrics that matter most to your IT leaders. In the case of our customer, implementing analytics freed up 55 hours per month during which their IT team could focus on driving process improvements instead of digging through data silos.
4. We Won’t Gain Any New Insights
Odds are high that the above statement is outright inaccurate, unless your team has already discovered the answer to every single possible question about every aspect of IT performance. You say your team doesn’t have all of the answers? We didn’t think so. Because the fact of the matter is that many IT teams lag behind in technology upgrades, and legacy software makes it nearly impossible to drill into all of the values and metrics relevant to your operations. The sluggish IT systems of yesteryear can’t hold a candle to the lean, mighty analytics applications of today.
If your sentiment stems from doubts about the true value of analytics, we’re here to tell you that mindset is also flawed. A survey by Deloitte found 49 percent of respondents cited better decision-making capabilities as the greatest benefit of using analytics. And in a report from Continuity Software, 76 percent of companies using IT analytics said the tools helped with early detection of critical IT issues. Simply put, analytics provide invaluable insights that allow you to pinpoint high-impact issues early on and make the best decisions for your business.
[Photo courtesy of Pexels.]