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How do you measure technology outcomes?

Updated: May 5



Ruler measuring vertically stacked blocks with letters on them that spell out "success"

Some go with the "sleep at night" as their guiding light. Are you being kept up at night worrying about your technology, or are you sleeping peacefully?

Most organizations these days need more than that, but don't know where to start. What should you consider when attempting to measure the technology outcomes of your organization?


In this article we will go over a number of factors used to better understand your technology. While this article is less about concrete numbers, its design is to get you thinking about the topics that will give you a better sense of how your organization's use of technology is stacking up.


Uptime

Obviously widespread downtime is a big no-no in today's digital world. Keeping track of "site-down" situations is fairly easy as they stick out in memory, but what about when individual workers are unable to do their job, or even just produce limited outputs due to an interruption caused by tech hiccups?

If you use an outsourced provider, these types of metrics may be available to you. Otherwise you can implement tracking systems within your timesheets, or simply a Microsoft/Google Form that your team can fill out when technology struggles get in their way and result in lost productivity.


End User Satisfaction

Everyone is getting surveys at seemingly every turn these days, so you may need to lay down some management authority to ensure they are filling them out. But if you can collect the details, they can paint a detailed picture of how your team and customers are utilizing your technology investments:


  • Interactions with support

  • Performance of hardware and software

  • Suitable tools to achieve peak productivity

  • Don't forget about your customers - are they using your technology solutions properly? Are they happy with them? Are they allowing you to achieve your goals?


Cost Efficiency and ROI

Are the investments you are making in technology paying off? Is investing more in hardware and software enhancements allowing your team to be more productive? It's easy to see the costs of purchasing hardware and software, but do you evaluate the results?


While it's difficult for outside providers to give you measurements on whether or not those investments are paying off, it may be important to your organization to add in some level of reporting into existing processes to make sure you are investing in the right places.


Security & Disaster Preparedness

Do you have plans that are current and walk through dealing with security incidents and data-loss situations? Do you feel confident that they are actionable? Are the stated recovery objectives (how long until you're back up and running, along with how much lost data/output is tolerable) achievable and periodically tested?


What about the tools in use - are they providing adequate protection? Are they monitored and managed correctly? Everything from backup software to security tools to ensuring your team is able to identify attempted compromises should be managed in an ongoing manner.

While these are simple checkboxes instead of metrics, they are critical to being confident that your organization is able to withstand the types of vulnerabilities that are inherent in today's digital world.


You must also be ready to answer the questions of value. How much does it cost to prepare for worst case scenario vs what it would cost you to carry on post-attack or loss. You can invest as much money as you want in preparation, but do you know where the point is when it becomes not worth it?


Scalability and Flexibility

If you are a growing organization, is your current technology infrastructure and support ready and able to expand with your predicted growth?


Again, this is just a checkbox, but when you're evaluating your technology, this is a critical component of future planning. Understanding the answer to this question can better prepare you, should you land that "whale" of a client or suddenly go viral (for the right reasons!) online and need to scale up quickly.


Decision-Making Data

Are you confident that your systems are providing you with relevant, timely and actionable data?


Being able to report on the activities and workflows of your organization to uncover pinch-points, failures, successes and optimization opportunities can be a huge gain, if your organization is able to take action on it.


While this topic is unique to each industry, and even organization, it is worth asking yourself the question if you are getting the right data. This is one of the areas where an outsourced provider can give you the benefits of a wide variety of experiences to help you understand what more you can get out of your systems.


Technology Standards and Compliance Scores

There are several sets of "standards" frameworks available today that allow you to evaluate your organization's technology implementation against current best practices. Some examples include ISO 27000 series, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, CIS Controls among several others.


These frameworks provide a baseline to ensure your organization is best protected against all sorts of threats and fail-points. Some also understand that there is a spectrum of realistic expectations from micro businesses all the way to international enterprises and provide guidance suited for a variety of sizes and operational maturities.


If your industry is regulated, do you have any compliance requirements? If so, are you confident you can demonstrate that you meet them?


Conclusion

In spite of it's very science-based origin, technology these days is now just as much of an art. The topics in this article go over the higher-level considerations that modern organizations should consider when evaluating the performance of their technology systems.


From preparing-for-the-worst to planning-for-the-best, a key component of your organization is being able to understand how your technology is being used and what outcomes you are getting from your investments.


If you would like to know more about how Northrock can help your organization understand technology as it impacts you, please reach out today for a no-pressure, no-obligation chat!



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