Why Metrics Are Your Most Important Tech Tool

Key points:

  • ROI isn’t about what tech you use, it’s about how you use it
  • With the right metrics in mind, you can maximize your ROI with technology
  • Discover three important metrics in our latest video

The Best Tool In Tech Is…

Metrics. Yes, I know, that’s not a conventional tool, but it’s still an undeniably valuable component of effective business processes, IT management, and cybersecurity posture maintenance.

Discover why in our latest video:

YouTube video

Metrics Can Optimize Your Decision Making

The fact is that so much of the technology available to you is largely similar to its competition. Whether you’re looking at a new firewall, SaaS platform, or server, the top two or three options may be indistinguishable from one another.

That’s why metrics are so important. The more you know about how to use technology, the better you can invest in the right technology.

After all, every decision you make has an outcome; even on a fundamental level, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That’s why it’s so important to make well-informed decisions when it comes to your business.

With the right information, each choice you make can have attainable and expected positive results for your business; without that information, you may as well be gambling with the future of your company.

At the end of the day, this is about developing value in your investments. The more data you have on your processes, and the more accurately you track performance, the more informed your decision making (and devotion of available finances) becomes.

3 Metrics You Need To Track

Patching Schedule via Reporting

Despite how advanced modern software is, it is still designed by humans, and the fact is that humans still make mistakes.

That’s why much of the software you rely on to get work done every day could have flaws—or “exploits”—that leave you vulnerable to security breaches.

Many of the most common malware and viruses used by cybercriminals today are based on exploiting those programming flaws; to address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect the users.

This is why it’s important for you to keep your systems up to date. Comprehensive and regular patch management is a crucial part of proper IT security. In order to maintain a secure IT environment, you either have to make sure your staff is staying on top of all incoming updates.

As a metric, patching is a matter of reporting. You need a system in place through which you can track when patches are being applied, and whether there is any delay in doing so.

RPO & RTO

Data backup is a basic part of cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and business continuity.

Failing to keep your data backed up is like playing with fire. You may not have experienced any real data loss yet, but it’s only a matter of time. That’s why you need to keep your data backed up.

Effective data backup solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. The difference between a common data backup solution and the ideal one is based on a number of key qualities and standards.

Not all backups services are the same, which is why you need to understand the following two metrics:

  • Recovery Time Objective: How long will it take to recover files, applications, server or full infrastructure?
  • Recovery Point Objective: RPO is governed by the frequency of backups. In the old days, backups were performed at the end of the week or the end of the day. Today backups can be managed continuously. This means very little to no data loss in the event of a recovery, so there’s less lost work to re-do after recovery.

Auditing Your IT

What’s the state of your software licenses?

If you’re not keeping an eye on them, an expiration can creep up fast and cause a lot of issues with your IT systems. It’s vital that you keep track of the status of any existing licenses and warranties.

Depending on the type of business you operate, there may be specific software needed for daily operations. It could be Quickbooks for accounting and bookkeeping or Oracle Micros for restaurant Point of Sales, but the bottom line is that if you need it to get work done, you should know whether you can use it.

The most direct way to check if the license is still in good standing is often just to try to use the software. If that doesn’t answer the question for you, then try looking at the About page for the software.

Managing licenses properly is a key part of effective IT maintenance. Similarly, maintaining IT hardware is a difficult task, especially for medium and small-sized businesses.

It requires constant maintenance and monitoring, and even then, it quickly becomes outdated. Maintaining proper support and upgrading hardware is costly and complicated, so why not outsource the entire process?

How many of your workstations or other pieces of equipment are out of date and due to be refreshed?

You’ve probably been putting it off, at least because of the cost involved. Replacing hardware requires capital, and it’s a lot to spend at once, depending on your budget. That’s not to mention the work involved with selecting, sourcing and installing the hardware.

Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Technology

The bottom line is that you can’t assume you’re making the most of the technology you’ve invested in. You need to track performance in order to optimize your ROI.

Need help developing processes for tracking metrics? Book a meeting with the MainStreet IT Solutions team to get started.

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