Three questions to ask your IT Manager*

Pablo Picasso once said – “Computers are useless, they can only give you answers”. Some believe that he did not understand the power of technology. But then … performance dashboards can give answers that make perfect sense to IT Managers, and yet be useless to CEOs.

Perhaps, Picasso meant that to create art (or to drive organizational improvements) we need people who are able to interpret and transform “answers” into actions. A significant proportion of information used for organizational decision-making is non-quantitative (estimates suggest that unstructured data represent 70-80% of business knowledge) and, at this stage, deployment of analytics for such data is not easy.

Or, perhaps, Picasso’s observation points to the importance of posing right questions. The right questions can lead to breakthroughs, whereas right answers to the wrong questions can, indeed, be useless or detrimental.

Most organizations use some sort of metrics to measure performance of their IT. What makes some dashboards more useful than others? Next time your IT Manager brings their status report, perhaps, you could consider if the information you are presented with can be put in the context of organizational value:

  1. value enablement - can we assess the impact of deployed IT capabilities on organizational KPIs?
  2. value preservation - can we estimate the impact of IT risks on service delivery?
  3. value creation - can we assess the impact of emerging technologies?

Leila Abbasova is a Research Director at Technology Indicators – the company that specialises in IT performance measurement and benchmarking.

*Copy supplied by Tech Indicators