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Friday, June 06, 2014

How do you know if your technology is good for business?

Evaluating IT systems according to business need, not just technical performance, can help decision-makers implement more effective solutions.

Category:   Enterprise Mobility

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In light of evolving IT needs, businesses are adopting more robust IT infrastructures and applications for employees. For example, secure file transfer solutions now facilitate better business continuity—an important step for mission-critical resources—and offer mobile clients so workers can utilize them from just about anywhere.

Deciding on a technology strategy for the enterprise is no small matter. Not only can the right tools make or break a business's operations, they're also a significant investment. How can IT and business leaders evaluate whether their systems are successfully supporting the company?

Evaluating the right metrics 
According to a Gartner study, assessing the appropriate key performance indicators—particularly with predictive analytics—can set an organization apart from its competitors. Unfortunately, only 31 percent of companies have the right metrics in place to help them optimize their operations.

Technology can help companies pursue predictive analytics, but it should also be evaluated to determine whether the most effective tools are in place and understand how the organizations' business needs are supported. CIO Insights emphasized that metrics for any aspect of the company should start with questions oriented toward business goals and outcomes. This means that assessing the efficacy of IT solutions shouldn't rely merely on IT-centric indicators—they should be contextualized according to how they support the firm's mission and success.

Optimizing IT resources
With the right questions in mind, IT leaders can better understand business requirements and implement solutions that support the day-to-day activities and objectives of employees. As an example, the source suggested "tracking the availability of business applications" and "gauging how effectively a customer service system influences loyalty, satisfaction, and customer retention." These metrics ideally look both to past behavior and future conditions, providing actionable insights.

As far as managed file transfer solutions go, decision-makers might want to assess whether their systems offer the degree of availability that their companies' workers need in order to perform their professional activities. If productivity and utilization rates are low, the organization may require more intuitive solutions, configurations that offer high availability to prevent downtimes, or mobile applications that facilitate working on the goal. The existing IT system could be performing just fine, but if it doesn't support business objectives, it's not an ideal solution at all.