What Makes a Business Value Dashboard Valuable to Executives
Before you set an agenda for your company, you should have a strong understanding of how practical and how costly your goals are — but in the complex world of IT, that’s often easier said than done. Business value dashboards put IT metrics in a business-friendly context.
No matter the talent of IT professionals or the keen judgement of executives, they’re always separated by one thing: terminology. IT systems — which now include virtual and physical networks, cloud servers, and countless applications — are incredibly complex, and even the most basic metrics tied to their operations can be difficult to comprehend for the layman.
As a result, many companies struggle to calculate the specific value their IT spend is returning: do you use the IT capacity you pay for? How much does downtime cost you, and how capable are you of avoiding it? Is IT budgeted appropriately? Is customer experience seamless?
These questions all have knowable, specific answers, and business value dashboards translate them from obscure IT jargon into terms of profit and loss that are immediately relevant to executives.
Data as a Cost
Advanced analytics and predictive performance metrics from TeamQuest give executives greater visibility into IT, including factors like infrastructure use, cost of downtime and bottlenecks, and the root of common service problems. But more importantly, TeamQuest software translates each of these insights into costs and benefits, as well as visualizes those costs and benefits in a way that’s intuitive to business audiences. The idea is that if your IT costs are knowable, you can easily align IT strategy with business goals.
A business value dashboard allows an executive to see each specific element of IT as an addressable cost, referred to as top-of-the-line information. On a smartphone or computer display, executives can see whether IT is meeting both budgetary expectations and SLAs, as well as project future costs and service expectations.
Most importantly, executives can see the cost of not taking action — perhaps IT resources are expensive, but by not adding bandwidth you leave yourself vulnerable to an outage, which could cost far more in the long run.
Alignment and Knowledge
With a few clicks, executives can get the perspective they need to align IT objectives with broader business goals. Business leaders will not only have a better understanding of IT spends, but be able to have meaningful conversations with IT managers about how to shift IT capacity to better support projects. At the same time, they can decide with confidence whether proposed IT budgets are justifiable. IT then becomes a tool for businesswide decision-making, ensuring that service is delivered in the most cost-effective way possible.
As with costs, a business value dashboard helps to understand the risks of every action. For instance, should a company use cloud-based or localized servers? Each has its own inherent costs and security differences, and the right solution depends on the company involved and the services they support — knowledge you can now find in a smartphone app.
Visualization like this gives executives the power to make the most intelligent use of the infrastructure they pay for. By translating technical specifics into broad-level cost and value figures, the C-suite can make confident decisions backed by real-time data.