The Evolution Of UC Metrics For 2020 And Beyond
We’ve now entered the Business Value Era. By Irwin Lazar
The metrics that IT and business leaders use to evaluate the success of their technology investments are rapidly changing. Whereas they once focused on performance management, the key measure of success is now derived by measuring the business value of investment. This evolution of metrics can be broken down into three distinct eras: • The Performance Era (pre-2016): In this era, metrics were simply defined by the question, “Does it work?” IT and business leaders measured success by looking at metrics such as outages, mean time to repair, data loss, jitter, mean opinion score and other factors, all of them directly related to the real-world performance of the technology. If helpdesk tickets and user complaints were kept to a minimum, then the deployment was deemed a success. • The Utilization Era (2016 to 2019): In this era, performance wasn’t enough. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) began asking the question, “Is anyone using the applications and systems that we provide?” Here, IT leaders were increasingly tasked with not only measuring adoption and utilization, but also undertaking marketing, training and other user-awareness activities to increase technology adoption. Implicitly assumed in this era was that, if people were using the provided apps, the organization was successful.
• The Business Value Era (2020 and beyond): In this era, we measure the impact of technology rather simply, asking, “What’s the impact on the bottom line?” What’s most important in this era is to know how the implementation of new technologies results in measurable business value—for example, reducing costs, increasing revenue or improving efficiencies that make an organization more agile. It’s important to note that no era completely replaces the previous one; instead, each new era represents growth atop the metrics of the previous era. That is to say, the focus on utilization did not replace the need to measure performance, just as measurements of business value do not eliminate the requirement to understand adoption and usage patterns. Each successive era just represents a new set of metrics. The primar y driver behind this evolution is the changing role of IT. For organizations to succeed in an environment of rapid technological change—an environment in which businesses must embrace disruptive change in order to sur vive—IT can no longer be a passive ser vice center that simply provides a set of applications for business use. Instead, to support digital-transformation initiatives, IT must function as a business partner that is charged with enabling organizations to take advantage of emerging technology to
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Irwin Lazar develops and manages research projects, conducts and analyzes primary research, and advises enterprise and ven© 2019 Nemertes Research dor clients on technology strategy, adoption and business metrics. Lazar is responsible for benchmarking the adoption and use of emerging technologies in the digital workplace, and he has covered enterprise communications and collaboration as an industry analyst for more than 20 years.
What the future holds for unified communications and collaboration is featured in our fall edition of IT/AV Report.