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8 Simple Metrics to Track Your Cloud Success


metrics-239x300.jpgI wrote a blog last month on how to develop a successful cloud strategy, and then produced a short video to complement the blog to help enterprises device a sound pragmatic cloud strategy.   Since then, I was asked by a number of customers on what metrics they should be tracking to ensure they have the right ‘lenses’ on their transformation journey.


I have personally seen companies with project scorecards that have over 100 metrics. My advice is to keep it simple and start with few basic metrics that are meaningful and easy to understand.


There are four primary categories of metrics you should focus on:


  • Cloud Service Planning and Design
  • Operational Excellence
  • Cloud Service Value Demonstration
  • Staff Knowledge and Skill Set


Cloud Service Planning and Design


To ensure you are relevant to the business, you should track how well the cloud services are defined in terms and languages that line of business stakeholders find meaningful and how well they are aligned with the key business goals and initiatives. Two metrics are key in aligning business and IT expectations:


  • Service Definition Effectiveness – tracks the number of cloud services defined in terms of business capabilities. Basing service definitions on business capabilities allows the planning and design of cloud services closely align to business partners’ key activities and fully reflect their needs.
  • Service User Types – tracks the number of internal users such as employees or contractors versus external users such as end customers or partners being served by the cloud services you are developing. This helps senior management understand the target audience and expected value of these cloud services.


Operational Excellence


Successful IT organizations shift performance management from monitoring projects and operations toward monitoring delivery and enhancements of end-to-end services that support critical business capabilities. There are a lot of operational metrics you can measure but two key ones come to the top:


  • Time to provision new service – tracks the time from receiving a request for a new cloud service to provisioning it. The demand for speed and efficiency by business users drives service managers to quickly roll out new services to meet the fast changing business demands.
  • Time to service adoption – tracks the time from go live to expected usage of a new cloud service. The speed at which users start consuming a new cloud service is a good leading indicator of any adoption barrier that needs to be removed to ensure the success of a new service.


Cloud Service Value Demonstration


Treating cloud services as products in the marketplace allows IT to better measure the success and economics of deployed services and identify investment areas that will best improve overall user satisfaction.


  • Moment of Truth Performance – tracks end user satisfaction with a cloud service during critical moments of user interaction. Gathering user feedback about their experience during the most influential point of service interaction helps service managers identify where investments have the largest effect to improve user satisfaction.
  • Service Adoption and Usage – track adopters in the organization who are actually using the service (as a percentage of potential adopters) and the features or capabilities of the service that are used by the adopters. These metrics provide insights into adoption barriers and functionality enhancement priority and roadmap.


Staff Knowledge and Skill Set


Delivering cloud services demand new skills, knowledge, mind sets and organization construct. It cannot be done effectively without dedicated roles and competency training. To measure the effectiveness of this shift, you must track the following metrics:


  • Service Manager Roles – tracks the total number of service managers dedicated to managing end-to-end cloud services and the ratio of service managers to IT staff with non-service management roles. Having dedicated service manager roles results in focused and improved service delivery outcomes.
  • Cloud Service Competency and Skill Index – tracks the number of training and certification programs in place for cloud services creation and management, and tracks the number of people certified with such skill set and competency. Cloud requires new skills and knowledge. Don’t ignore it and hope something good will happen.


How are you tracking your progress today? I would love to hear your feedback on what metrics you use.

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cloud SaaS hybrid IT

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