How to earn quick return on your IT automation project

CIO – Can Changing IT Staff Compensation Structure Improve Organization’s MTTR?

compensationAre your IT personnel currently being rewarded for accelerated incident resolutions?  If not, this could significantly improve your mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), by including rewards that incentivize your Level 1 and Level 2 technicians to quickly respond to and resolve issues.  Once MTTR becomes established as a benchmark metric for your team, additional improvements can be achieved via IT process automation.

Why is MTTR so important?

Consider for a moment that 86% of companies suffer some type of system outage each year. Furthermore, the 2012 Acronis Disaster Recovery Index survey conducted by Acronis and the Ponemon Institute revealed that such an outage can cost a business an average of over $366k annually. Managing such an outage and bringing critical systems back up as quickly as possible is fundamental to successfully restoring business operations back to normal.

In order to improve MTTR, IT managers must find a way to drive home the importance of quick response and timely incident resolution to front line employees. What’s the best way to do this? Incentivize.

Here are a few ways you can motivate your team:

  • Set key performance indicators (KPIs) at both the team level and the individual level that are clear, specific, and measurable.
  • Offer varying rewards that include a mixture of cash incentives as well gifts and other non-monetary perks. Different people are driven by different things, so add some variety.
  • Don’t discount the value of flexibility itself as a reward. The ability to work from home or on flexible schedules can often be enough incentive to improve performance.
  • Keep the entire process transparent and conduct regular performance reviews. The IT industry in and of itself is defined by specific causes and effects, and those who work within tend to be analytical and results-driven. Make incentives clear and attainable and measure progress regularly for optimum results.

These are some of the ways you can make an incentive program successful. Now, let’s take it a step further and look at what specific metrics should be included in that incentive plan.

  • Response Time – Amount of time it takes for a caller or live chatter to actually connect with a support agent
  • Average Handle Time (AHT) – The average amount of time support spends handling calls or chat sessions
  • First Call Resolution Rate (FCR) – The number of incidents that are resolved on the first call or session
  • Escalation Rate – The number of incidents that are escalated to upper tier levels
  • Service Level Agreement (SLR) – Whether specific service levels, such as promised resolution timeframes, are being successfully and consistently met 

Of course, each IT group may have additional metrics, based on the specific roles and needs of that particular organization, but these are the basics that relate directly to MTTR. When these five KPIs are tracked, management can get a much clearer picture of how critical incidents and outages are being handled and where improvements can and should be made for future success.

So, where does IT process automation come into play?

Simple. IT Process Automation (ITPA) allows technology to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of managing incidents, ensuring that notifications are sent to the right people at the right time and making it easy to track progress at any point within the process. To take it one step further, automation can even provide the opportunity to proactively handle incidents so that they can be resolved before they become a serious problem. All of this leads to improved MTTR and allows IT personnel to successfully meet their goals and achieve their incentives.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes