During the course of nearly 18 years at my former company we would go through IT process benchmarking exercises about every one to two years. These exercises would evaluate all of the different services and functions that were performed by a fairly extensive and comprehensive IT team and compare the services, functions and costs against a peer reference group. These efforts helped catalyze the use of a substantial number of metrics to track and manage KPIs over time. These measurements acted as gauges to help understand how efficiently processes were functioning while also providing for determining cause and effect relationships with changes to and refinements in processes. Understanding comparable performance benchmarking externally to the organization was imperative. This gave a reference point against industry for speed of adoption of technologies and a sense for rates/gauges for support process evolution. It’s much like comparing the same class of vehicle produced by two distinct manufacturers. Each and every time we went through these exercises we achieved better benchmarks and we continually performed at reference group best in the majority of areas. This indicated what I’d describe as a mastery of being able to continually improve the costs and service levels provided to the business.
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