Debate: Using metrics to assess Information Technology planning

Respond to these advantages of using metrics by giving a “Disadvantages” response about using metrics to assess Information Technology Planning:

1. Advantages of using metrics to assess information technology planning. 

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Metrics are quantifiable measurements that can aid IT leaders in efficiently managing the business. IT metrics can make sure the IT investments align to the business strategy. Metrics can help the business to understand where it has been, where it is heading, whether something is going wrong, and when the business reaches its goals (The Importance of Implementing Effective Metrics, 2019). Successful businesses solve issues before they become a problem, metrics can aid a business in being proactive to address issues before they become real problems. 

Relevant metrics can: 

  • Aid and improve decision making 
  • Provide focus for the organization and employees 
  • Drive performance 

 IT metrics can also help businesses understand how their IT initiatives performed. Most of us want to see proof whether something actually was a benefit or not. When I go to Target and use my circle rewards I want proof that I saved money. 

2. Lord Kelvin once said: “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind” (Saxon, 2018). Metrics provide objective information from which to make decisions from.

An example where metrics would be valuable would be a cloud PaaS (Platform as a service) provider. They could enter into service level agreements (SLAs) where commit to providing 99.9% availability. The SLA may event provide for some additional maintenance window work such as in the lesson example. Metrics should be a requirement to both ensure compliance with SLAs, and to prove compliance with SLAs. Without those metrics, a customer could have a network issue and attribute it to your cloud service, Failure to meet an SLA can have financial consequences.

From a planning perspective, the data from metrics such as availability can be useful to an organization when evaluating how to specify services or identify where improvements can be made. Other metrics such as CPU/memory utilization, storage availability, and other hardware metrics can drive hardware upgrades.

Metrics need to be useful and actionable. Just because it can be measured, doesn’t mean it should be measured. There is almost a CRAAP test or “so what?” test that needs to be used when establishing metrics. If used correctly, metrics clearly add value to IT planning.