Selecting an IT Benchmarking Consultancy
Having previously argued on the merits of engaging an independent specialist consultancy for your IT services benchmarking, now the question that needs addressing is what are the main aspects to consider when identifying the most suitable consultancy? Below is a list of the most important factors to consider.
What to look for when selecting an IT services benchmarking consultancy?
Expertise backed up by robust Methodology.
You will require to find a provider with specialist and focused expertise in IT services benchmarking, utilising a robust and detailed methodology.
This benchmarking methodology must be mature, established and updated over time, supported by well-established algorithms that have been regularly updated in-line with real world changes in technology services.
The consultancy must have the flexibility in their methodology to undertake benchmarking at different levels of detail, and across multiple IT services to enable the scope of study to truly fit the requirements.
Proven capability to embrace new technology options within the IT services portfolio for maturing technology trends.
Accurate Peer Selection.
Detailed, regular and recent benchmarking studies in all areas of IT services, to enable selection of suitable peers for the study.
Peer selection itself should be based on an algorithmically defined complexity and scale index, rather than industry peers of differing scale or a financial metric such as revenue.
The methodology must provide for the peer data to be “normalised”, ensuring a true “apples to apples” comparison between the enterprise and the peer group.
Independence – no strings attached.
The benchmarking specialist must be truly independent, with no alignments and allegiances to technology or services providers, and have no interest in downstream operational work, thus being truly unbiased in the study and recommendations.
Fresh, relevant and validated data.
The external data used for benchmark comparisons must be regularly enriched with appropriate suitable metrics from current studies, to ensure present realities are reflected in the comparisons. This current data enables improved data validation, making benchmarking analysis a true representation of facts, by challenging outliers early in the process.
Experience of IT services benchmarking within your own industry sector. This provides the background and external context, regulatory environment; and by comparison an appreciation of the uniqueness of your own business.
Experience of cross industry benchmarking studies, which helps by not only comparing with industry peers, but peer selection by “service tower” as experienced by enterprises of similar scale and complexity, thus adding extensive value and insight.
Appropriate geographic data for comparison where the enterprise operates, and particularly where service delivery is located (onshore, offshore or near-shore centres whether outsourced or insourced).
The data validation process allows improved understanding of context, by challenging and understanding the reasons for outlying individual data items. This directly impacts the study; an advantage lost in survey based data studies.
A report that suits your needs
The methodology must include the ability to simulate “what if?” scenarios, to enable decision making and enable listing of tactical and strategic focus areas and priorities. Analysis of several inter-related parameters considered in the methodology, should have the ability to inform decisions on optimisation, sourcing, service delivery, process integration, and so on.
The analysis and findings delivered must include an executive overview alongside detailed findings and comparison, for each of the IT services assessed in the study scope.
The recommendations must largely be backed-up by facts, metrics and findings. These may well be supplemented by qualitative findings obtained through the study and interactions, to ensure wider insight.