Oftentimes in organizations there can be many complex processes and systems to navigate through. How can IT help leadership within the organization make effective decisions for results (i.e., increased customer response time, increased sales/revenue, or drive efficiencies within these processes, etc.)? Consider the following analogy: Think about how we control our automobiles – instead of trying to monitor all of the systems that are used to run the vehicle, as a driver we generally “check on” or “monitor” a few key control points and very simple to understand measurements (i.e., E = I need to fill my gas tank).
IT often helps leadership and numerous different levels with various tools depending on the requirements of the area of the company. These tools and resources specific to one area can be broken down and simplified to provide a understandable view for higher level management. As an example my organization has a rather large inbound customer support phone group. The call center must be managed at that level to ensure service levels are being met and clients are being assisted quickly and accurately. IT supports the call center in a number of ways to simplify this process. All reps utilize a software phone that displays the number of calls holding, how many reps are available/busy/unavailable, the current alert level (more calls = higher alert). All of this data goes into a centralized system that shows how long a rep has been on the phone, how long available/busy/unavailable, and this is combined with traffic estimates and actual phone traffic, which is then utilized to determine the alert level. All of this information is extremely important for phone services, and the simplified displays available to reps, their managers, and our traffic department all help in various decision making processes. This information is then distilled down into longer term, average figures, and combined with other metrics (client survey scores, sales figures, etc.) then presented to upper level management. In this way IT is able to provide the needed information in a way that makes sense to various groups who will approach and utilize this information in different ways.