A 2013 CIO magazine article discussed the importance of redefining IT’s value – moving it from a cost center to a business driver.
In the article, CIOs from an automotive supplier, a pharmaceutical company, and a mutual insurance concern made a compelling argument for having IT viewed – and graded – against the same performance metrics as every other discipline within a given organization.
“When we meet with others in the enterprise,” wrote Delphi SVP & CIO Tim McCabe, “we’re all having the same conversation about the same business outcomes…Does it help sales? Increase share price? Improve throughput? These are the metrics our colleagues and shareholders understand and value.”
In our work with enterprise companies looking to move critical communications applications to the cloud, more often than not, our conversations discuss overall business value. Sure, the CIOs we meet with are very interested in cost savings, be it the significantly lower upfront capital expenditures moving to the cloud represents as well as the reduction in operating expenses they will realize. But what they also want to know is how moving to the cloud will impact their business as a whole.
“Will we be more responsive to internal as well as external customers?” “How am I able to quantify process improvements?” “Is there a way to better understand how our employees are getting work done, measure these processes, and improve them?”
An integrated business intelligence environment – built right into the cloud communications platform – gives IT the tools and the actionable data to answer these questions.
Our analytics application is an outgrowth of the data analysis that contact centers have been doing for years. In a given contact center, managers have a full view of agent activity – response times, length of calls, first call resolution percentage. Why not, we thought, give similar capability and visibility to managers across the organization and across communications applications? Development of ThinkingAnalytics – a powerful tool that can drive business results – was the result.
With ThinkingAnalytics, enterprises can better understand not only how and to what extent their workforces are consuming communications services, but how this consumption is impacting the business. For example, sales management can better understand how responsive in-field representatives are to leads they receive. In the back office, analytics can help determine whether an increase in headcount is providing a corresponding improvement in response rates to internal stakeholders.
“In the end,” wrote Larry Jones, global vice president of IT at Johnson & Johnson, “business metrics help prove your case and keeps the IT investment coming. Without them, the business only remembers the last time a system didn’t perform.”