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Why You Should Measure IT Quality

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Why you should measure IT Quality

For many years we have been measuring various aspects of Information Technology (IT) to see how we are performing and sometimes subject to accessing reliable data how we actually compare to other similar organisations.

In the past depending on what is currently flavour of the month we have focused our efforts on various measures.One of the most frequently adopted was measuring process maturity using tools, techniques and standards like CMMI, PMM and ISO20000.We have measured individual service performance using SLAs.Occasionally we have even measure ourselves and our team’s performance using various OLA based CSFs and KPIs, often wrongly and have driven the wrong behaviours as a result.

Some of us even attempt to measure customer and user satisfaction without fully understanding the purpose of what we are doing and achieving various levels of success as a result.

Occasionally we even pay out vast sums of money and call in one of the ‘big four’ to tell us what we think we want to know.

Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with monitoring, measuring and reporting on IT performance, teams and services you must admit that IT is more than just processes, SLAs, OLAs and KPIs. We talk about people, process and technology so we should be a least measuring those elements, but don’t forget the customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Rather than trying to measure all of these individual elements piecemeal would it not make sense to take a holistic approach and look at everything at once?

The inherent Risks

One of the major risks in trying to measure quality without fully understanding what quality actually means is that many people associate the word quality with cost or value for money.There is a hidden risk here in that a pursuit of cost effectiveness will ultimately focus on the cost of delivering a service and the cost driver will result in a downward spiral of cost cutting and as a result quality reduction rather than quality improvement.

Another common risk is navel gazing, just looking at IT in isolation and not focusing on the wider picture of the benefits that IT delivers to the business as a whole.Increasingly organisations now consider spend on IT to be an investment in the business rather than the old view that IT is just an expensive overhead on the business.With IT now driving the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ through artificial intelligence, it is vitally important that you understand the quality of your IT.

What is ‘Service Quality’?

What if we can expand what we monitor and measure and focus on something called ‘Service Quality’.

R.C Lewis and B.H Booms back in 1983 defined Service Quality as a comparison of ‘Perceived Performance’ minus ‘Perceived Expectations’

SQ = P - E

Evidence from various empirical studies suggest that improved service quality also increases profitability and long term economic competitiveness of an organisation.

Did you know that an organisation with high service quality will meet or exceed customer expectations whilst remaining economically competitive? So what are we waiting for we should be measuring service quality. In fact the quality of all of our services, how they are delivered and how they are used and supported and perceived. This will then allow us to measure IT Quality.

What is ‘IT Quality’?

Basically IT Quality is considered a ‘Holistic’ 360o view of IT within your organisation.

Knowing your IT Quality score will allow you to:

  • Align the perception of quality between IT and the business
  • Communicate effectively with the business about quality
  • Understand what level of quality you are achieving
  • Align maturity levels across departments
  • Identify improvements
  • Better prioritise improvements
  • Track the progress of quality improvements and initiatives
  • Benchmark your organisation against other similar organisations
Boost confidence and motivation within IT

So how do we actually measure IT quality?It’s relatively easy because our friends over at the ‘IT QUALITY INDEX’ have spent a lot of time in researching what IT quality actually comprises of and have created a framework for assessing the quality of IT.

It will allow us to answer questions like…

  • What is the actual quality of our IT?
  • What is the typical quality level of IT in my particular industry?
  • What level of quality should our IT be achieving?
  • What are the areas with the biggest improvement potential?
  • Where do we stand in comparison with others?

If these questions are important to you then you should be measuring quality…

So how does this ‘IT QUALITY INDEX’ framework work?

The ‘IT QUALITY INDEX’ measures 48 quality dimensions across 6 key domains.

Those domains being:

  • Services
  • Human Assets
  • Business/Customers
  • Processes
  • Tools
  • Appearance

An in-depth analysis is undertaken by the accredited IT quality expert based on predefined quality criteria to identify the organisations current position and scope for improvement

So using the new accredited framework called the ‘IT QUALITY INDEX’ we can work closely with you to define the various domains and elements that constitute quality and help you define where you currently are, where you would like to get to and how you can get there.

What do you get out of the Quality Assessment?

The outputs from the assessment are:

  • A quality score
  • A Management report including:
  • oA Quality certificate
  • oA breakdown of quality measure per domain
  • oKey areas to focus improvements on
  • oA visual radar chart
  • oDetails of quality measures down to dimension level
  • oA perception chart
  • oCost/quality index
  • oBenchmark (for consultant led assessment only)
  • Presentation of the results to the Management team

Would you like to find out more?

We offer you a unique combination of training and consultancy services to allow you to either:

  • A.Self-assess IT quality within your own organisation by attending training and becoming accredited to undertake an internal company quality assessment yourself using the IT Quality Index training and tools.
  • B.Combine training with our consultancy services to work alongside you to deliver a truly independent and objective IT quality assessment and benchmark
  • C.Engaging our consulting team to provide an independent quality assessment and benchmark

Note: An objective consultant-led on-site assessment facilitated by an accredited IT quality assessment expert typically takes no more than 10 days effort depending on company’s size.

Check out our IT Quality Index courses

If you would like to know more? Then please contact one of our account management team for more details on…

T: 01539 736828

E: [email protected]

About The Author

Steve Lawless

Steve Lawless

I've worked in IT for over forty years and spent the last twenty in training and consultancy roles. Since starting Purple Griffon in 2002 I've taught over three thousand individuals in a variety of subjects. I hold qualifications in all four versions of ITIL®, ITAM, UX, BRM, SLM, SIAM, VeriSM, and AI, and co-authored the BCS AI Foundation book. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing (or rather falling over at high speed), reading, science and technology, and spending time with my loved ones.

Tel: +44 (0)1539 736 828

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