IT Key Performance Indicators and Metrics

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An IT KPI or metric helps to keep track of all relevant aspects of quality regarding an IT project. These measurable values help deliver projects on budget and time by analyzing and optimizing the IT ticket management, IT problem-solving and the IT cost management.

Here is the complete list of the most important IT KPIs and metrics, that we will discuss in this article in every detail:

Total Tickets vs Open Tickets: Monitor the ticket churn over time

Projects Delivered on Budget: Track your capacity to stay within budgets

Average Handle Time: Keep your tasks timely under control

Server Downtime: Enhance your maintenance by controlling dowmtimes

Mean Time To Repair: Analyze how fast you resolve different incidents

Unsolved Tickets Per Employee: Track the efficiency at solving issues

IT Support Employees per End Users: Ratio support employees vs end-users

IT ROI: Determine the return on investment of your IT investments

IT Costs Break Down: Identify the different components of your IT costs

IT Costs vs Revenue: Understand your IT expenses in relation to your revenue

visual example of total tickets vs open tickets for the IT department


Measure the ticket churn over time

Monitoring the overall progress of your tasks and projects is key, and that’s why this IT KPI made it to the top of our list. An important number of unresolved tasks piling up might translate a problem across the system, or with the agents. This is why it is important to monitor it in relationship with other indicators (workload of the staff, their deadlines, etc) as displayed on our example aside. Thanks to a modern KPI software like datapine’s, you can easily track the ratio of open to resolved tickets, while keeping an eye on the most important open tickets to complete your tasks on time. You can also work with various filter options for the ticket history, and filter by specific project for instance, or by individual team or employee.

Performance Indicators

Monitor the ratio of open tickets vs. completed tickets over time for different projects, teams or employees, and find potential optimization in your ticketing system.

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visual example of one of the most important IT KPIs: projects delivered on budget


Evaluate your capacity to stay within budget limits

Our second IT KPI example reflects on the project expenses: it estimates if the costs of your project are below or above the originally planned upper limit. To calculate the cost variance, divide the planned budget to the actual budget at a given time. On our example, we see that the budget is currently 8.1% over target. When budgeting for a project, we try to take all the costs into account but there inevitably are new costs that appear, unexpected events that change plans, etc – this is why it is important to add a certain margin of error to take them into account.

Performance Indicators

If your project budget is already over target in the early or mid-stages of delivery, you should investigate on the reasons: poor estimations? Underlying problems in the development? Find the potential issues to better stay within your budget limits.

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chart which visualizes the average handle time of project tasks for different employees


Keep your tasks timely under control

This IT KPI is a key metric for every project manager – but also for employees – and helps you monitor your planned tasks, projects and Sprints. By analyzing your past Sprints, you can optimize the workload of each employee. In our example aside, we take the case of a 5-day Sprint. We see that Nancy has completed her tasks within the 5-day Sprint-limits, usually already after 3.7 days, and doesn’t have a heavy workload. Paula, however, can rarely accomplish her tasks within 5 days. You should hence analyze the reasons behind it: is it due to bad planning management, or is Paula lacking the skills required to accomplish that task? On overall, however, the Average Handle Time for all the employees is 5.5 days, which is still within the framework.

Performance Indicators

Analyze your Sprints at your preferred time-interval (one week, two weeks, four weeks, etc.), and optimize the workload of all team members. You can then plan the Average Handle Time more accurately, and hence have more control over your project deadlines.

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data visualization of the it metric server downtime


Enhance your maintenance by controlling why and when downtime happens

The Server Downtown is a great IT KPI for the server performance management. It tracks the amount of time your IT infrastructure is down and not working. Downtime can be planned: for maintenance, updates or reboots, that are necessary to a well-functioning infrastructure. However, downtime can also be unexpected, when the system crashes – and at this moment, you will need to have an outage response plan efficiently designed to minimize that unforeseen downtime. You can measure this IT metric on a monthly basis, or on a quarterly or annual basis – but the more often, the better, so that you can track more accurately if there are specific times at which this happen, and identify the root causes more easily.

Performance Indicators

You can measure the downtime in minute alongside the uptime as a percentage. Having an uptime over 99,9% is considered good and is favorable.

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visual representation of the mean time to repair


How efficient you are in front of unexpected events?

The Mean Time to Repair is an IT KPI that is measured calculating the time between the start of an incident and the moment it is resolved. It includes the diagnostic time, fixing time, alignment, calibration, test, and wait time to get back to production. It is a reliable performance IT metric since it measures how good a team is at facing, responding and repairing a problem. Our IT KPI examples aside organize the different time to repair according to their nature (DNS issues, hardware failure, ...) and the time they need to be troubleshot: that way, you not only know where you should assign more staff to address the issues, but also how long it takes on average to do so. That is important for planning ahead.

Performance Indicators

By knowing which issues appear and for how long, you can better develop standard processes and strategies to tackle them as they happen, and benchmark over time the evolution.

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see rich examples of interactive real-time kpis in datapine view our live it dashboard
data visualization of the it kpi unsolved tickets per employee


Monitor your employees’ efficiency at solving issues

This is another pretty self-explanatory IT KPI. Unresolved issues can also be called open tickets, and calculate the number of issues that remain unsolved and need further communication. Tracking the number of tickets that remain unsolved by worker provides a good view on each of your employee’s performance. It can also create a healthy competition and give everyone an idea of where they stand with regard to their peers. Displaying them as a ratio between the solved and unsolved tickets will show who is off track and you should investigate the reasons why: it might be because of a very demanding customer, or a lack of training, etc.

Performance Indicators

The lowest the percentage, the better, since it means that you have more issues solved than not.

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line chart showing the development of the IT support employess per thousand end users


Evaluate the ratio of support employees to end-users

This IT KPI represents a self-explanatory ratio: how many support workers does your company have to help a thousand of end-users? On our example on the side, there are 10 support employees for an average of 99.177 end-users daily. But the ratio keeps on growing over time, and from the lower-end of the target zone it increases to reach the top and even goes beyond. That translates a need to hire more support workers for them to continue providing a high-quality work without being under too much pressure, trying to solve a pile of tickets that never decreases. There is no exact ratio to follow, as it depends on the type of users you have in front of you, but also on the product you support: a small mobile app requires less time for support than a high-end analytics software suite. This IT KPI is especially important for hard scaling IT companies.

Performance Indicators

To know if your current ratio is good, validate it with different quality support metrics. If such ratio doesn’t provide a good support, set it lower by hiring new support employees.

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line chart showing the development of the IT KPI 'IT ROI'


How profitable are your investments?

An IT metric relatively universal, the IT Return on Investment measures the efficiency of your investments. An ROI analysis usually answers the famous question, “how much bang for the buck do I get?”. It is an easy gauge for profitability, evaluating how much you get back for one dollar of investment. To push it a bit further, when measuring returns, you should go beyond obvious metrics like cost savings or revenue increases, and include all levels of performance relative to a program or a project’s goals. You will thus measure more than only financial, raw returns, and expand them to achieving desired outcomes and producing the right results.

Performance Indicators

The ROI is measured dividing the benefits by the cost of investment. The higher the better of course. It is important to measure it over time to see its evolution, that should go upwards.

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stunning pie chart of the it kpi 'IT costs break down'


Identify the different components of your costs

Knowing how you are allocating your money and where is an essential task and another of the IT KPIs you should track. Breaking down the investments into the different unit levels (software, hardware, SP, Personnel) and each of their components (maintenance, infrastructure, development, operations...) will give you a better insight on where the money is spent, and let you identify your main cost drivers as well as opportunities for improvement. That also lets you perform a more accurate financial budgeting and projections. For an optimal budgeting though, it is better if each department makes sure to measure in detail their IT costs.

Performance Indicators

The goal of this IT metric is to identify the main cost drivers and analyze them more in details. Try to make it as accurate and detailed as possible.

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line charts showing the IT costs and revenue per month


How are your IT expenses developing compared to your revenue?

The last of our IT KPIs compares the IT expenses to the revenue generated over a year. It is an important metric for tech companies that scale heavily over a short period of time, and witness large revenue increases. Are the costs maintaining the same level of percentage to the revenue? Or are they, as it often happens, growing exponentially (and often enough, uncontrollably)? Such case scenario is not uncommon and impacts negatively on potential profits, and that is why it is important to track this metric and keep it to a steady level. Another scenario would be that with a stagnating revenue, if IT costs steadily increase over time, the impact on profit margins would be unfavorable.

Performance Indicators

Define a target range for your IT costs as percentage of revenue, so that you can make profit. If this ratio rises sharply, identify the reasons behind that and if necessary, take action to reduce these costs.

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