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COBIT 5 scorecard measures IT’s relationship with its customers


Three weeks ago in “Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy,” I wrote about why the latest release of the COBIT standard should be on your radar. Simply put, COBIT 5 delivers a comprehensive framework that assists you in achieving the business’s objectives for the governance and management of enterprise IT. This week I review what COBIT has to say about measuring IT’s relationship with its customers (the business) and thereby, with its customer’s customers. As I did in my previous post about COBIT 5’s financial recommendations (“COBIT 5 scorecard measures the quality of IT’s financial performance”), I’ll start by reviewing COBIT 5’s recommendation for the customer quadrant of the Enterprise Balanced Scorecard and then focus my attention on the IT Balanced Scorecard recommendations.


Customer goals for the enterprise

COBIT 5’s customer quadrant for its enterprise scorecard has five areas that a business should use to evaluate how well it’s serving its customers. They are:


1)      Customer-oriented service culture

2)      Business service continuity and availability

3)      Agile response to a changing environment

4)      Information-based strategic decision making

5)      Optimization of service delivery costs


IT has a significant impact on several of these, including continuity and availability, agility, and optimization of service delivery cost.


Customer goals for IT

How should IT score its performance with business customers? COBIT 5 has two goal areas here, and if you compare these goals to the outline for the business-related scorecard above, you will see close linkages. Let’s explore each goal area and its respective metrics: 


  • Delivery of IT services in line with business requirements: COBIT 5 recommends IT organizations look at three metrics within this goal area:


  1. The number of business disruptions due to IT service incidents,
  2. The percent of business stakeholders satisfied that IT service delivery meets agreed-on service levels,
  3. The percent of users satisfied with the quality of IT service delivery.


These metrics not only relate to the enterprise goal areas shown above, but represent critical measures of the quality by which IT delivers services to customers. Specifically, they answer a number of important questions. How many incidents are outages that have caused business disruption? How well do IT’s customers feel IT meets its promises---service level agreements? And finally, how well do customers think IT performs service delivery as a whole?


  • Adequate use of applications, information and technology solutions: COBIT 5 makes four metric recommendations within this goal area. They include:


  1. The percent of business processes owners satisfied with supporting IT products and services;
  2. The level of business understanding of how technology solutions support their processes;
  3. The satisfaction of business users with training and user manuals; and
  4. The Net Present Value showing business satisfaction level of the quality and usefulness of the technology  solutions.


In contrast to the first goal area of IT service delivery, these metrics are really a mixed bag. The metric on business process owners draws a connection between IT’s products and the business processes they effectively enable. The second metric deals with business knowledge of the relationship between their processes and IT’s technology. The third has to do with the quality of IT-developed or selected products. And the final one tries to quantify the value of IT delivers.


Where to start?

My suggestion is that you begin where the most immediate value can be driven for the business. In my opinion, this is in goal area number one. The business feels it immediately if there’s any improvement in the quality of service delivery. In my next post, I will turn my attention to the operations quadrant—something that I am sure many of you have direct experience with. In the meantime, feel free to ask questions or comment below on this post.  


Related links:

Blog post: 3 ways IT leaders can strengthen compliance and control

Blog post: Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy

Blog post: COBIT 5 scorecard measures the quality of IT’s financial performance


Solution page:  IT Performance Management


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About the Author


Mr. Suer is a senior manager for IT Performance Management. Prior to this role, Mr. Suer headed IT Performance Management Analytics Product Management including IT Financial Management and Executive Scorecard.

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