10 IT KPIs You Should Track (And Why They’re So Important)

Small businesses are adopting digital solutions every day, and with that comes greater investment in IT infrastructure. However, it isn’t easy to manage your information technology program if you aren’t measuring IT KPIs. Key performance indicators evaluate the progress of activities toward established goals. But while all KPIs are metrics, not all metrics are KPIs.

Knowing which IT KPIs to track is an essential step toward defining how you’ll determine the success of your IT projects and overall business objectives. With information technology KPIs, you can gain more insight into your IT infrastructure and make data-driven decisions to optimize its performance.

10 IT KPIs You Should Be Tracking 

With the IT industry leading innovation in business technology, many businesses invest in IT solutions like cybersecurity and IT compliance to protect their organizations while optimizing their performance. Below is a list of 10 KPI examples for IT staff to track your  performance:

  1. Percentage of projects on time, on budget, on spec
  2. Average issue handle time 
  3. IT ROI
  4. IT spend vs. plan
  5. IT support employees per end users
  6. Mean time between failures (MTBF)
  7. Mean time to repair / recovery (MTTR)
  8. Recovery point objective (RPO)
  9. Recovery time objective (RTO)
  10. Server downtime and uptime

1. Percentage of Projects On Time, On Budget, On Spec

One of the most common ways to measure your business’s overall performance is to track how many projects are completed on time, on budget and on spec. This means the project met specific requirements to achieve a result. To gather data for this KPI, your business can use project authorization forms that require teams to provide specific information about a project and its performance over a set amount of time or spend.

The percentage of projects on time, on budget and on spec can help decision-makers identify costly projects and shut down programs that don’t contribute toward achieving your goals.

Recommended tracking interval:

 We recommend evaluating your projects with this metric monthly and quarterly.

2. Average Issue Handle Time 

This IT KPI answers an essential question for a project manager: How long does it take your team to accomplish tasks? The best way to measure this is to track how many tasks your team completes within a certain amount of time.

For example, you can measure your team over a five-day period to evaluate each person’s performance. You might find that one person completes tasks more quickly than you expected, while another team member doesn’t meet all of their deadlines.

With this data, you can make better decisions about assigning projects and implementing new training so your team is more productive. 

Recommended tracking interval:

We recommend tracking the average issue handle time weekly and monthly so you can get a closer view of your team’s day-to-day performance.


Your IT ROI, or return on investment, measures the efficiency of your IT spending. Simply put, how much bang are you getting for your buck? Although measuring  ROI seems pretty straightforward, your ROI should include more than just cost savings and revenue increases. Consider tracking metrics that measure all performance levels, like time saved, clients gained, and customers satisfied.

How to calculate IT ROI:

The formula to measure your IT ROI is the benefits of your IT program divided by the cost of investment. A higher ratio or percentage means a higher ROI, but even more critical is an ROI that steadily increases over time. 

Recommended tracking interval:

We recommend tracking your IT ROI month over month and year over year to gain more insight into the long-term sustainability of your IT investments.

4. IT Spend vs. Plan

This metric compares your expected IT budget against your actual IT spending. Tracking this KPI helps you to figure out if you are spending met or exceeded expectations. By identifying areas of your IT infrastructure that are over and under budget, you can redirect resources to areas that need them.

Measuring IT spend vs. plan is critical for effective IT budget planning and detecting anomalies like drastic overspending before it’s too late. For example, if a project takes longer than expected, you’re spending more budget than allocated.

How to calculate IT spend vs. plan:

The formula to measure your IT spend vs. plan is the total IT spending divided by the total IT budget over a specific period. 

Recommended tracking interval:

We recommend tracking your IT spend vs. plan monthly and quarterly so you can reprioritize projects as needed and drive internal accountability.

5. IT Support Employees Per End Users

This IT KPI produces a ratio of how many IT support employees are available to help each end user. While there is no ideal ratio for all businesses, the more IT support employees you have per end user, the faster they can resolve tickets instead of letting them pile up. This IT KPI is especially critical for businesses that want to scale up. As your business grows, you’ll need to hire more IT professionals to provide high-quality support to your team or clients.

How to calculate IT support employees per end users:

The formula to measure this KPI is the number of IT support employees divided by the number of end users per day, averaged over a specific period. 

Recommended tracking interval:

We recommend tracking this data daily and calculating the ratio weekly or monthly.

6. Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

The mean time between failures, or MTBF, is the average amount of time between a system failure and when it’s resolved. The higher your MTBF, the longer a system is likely to work before failing. What determines a system failure depends on your business, but common examples include system crashes, network connectivity issues and downtime.

Your MTBF is closely related to the mean time to repair, or MTTR, explained further below. 

How to calculate MTBF:

The formula to calculate your MTBF is the total number of operational hours divided by the number of failures over a specific period. The greater the number, the longer you can expect your system to run before a problem occurs.

7. Mean Time to Repair / Recovery (MTTR)

The mean time to repair, or MTTR, is the average time it takes to repair a failed component, device or system. MTTR can also reference the mean time to recovery, which is the time between failure discovery and the resumption of operations. In either situation, MTTR predicts how long it will take to get your system back online.

How to calculate MTTR:

The formula to calculate your mean time to repair is the total unplanned maintenance time spent on an asset divided by the total number of failures experienced over a specific period. 

For the mean time to recovery, the formula is the total downtime divided by the number of incidents over a specific period.

8. Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The recovery point objective (RPO) refers to the maximum amount of data, measured by time, that you can afford to lose after recovering from a disaster or system failure. For example, if your system goes down at 5 p.m. and you want to recover at least all the data from 4 p.m., your RPO is 1 hour.

Once the RPO reaches a certain threshold (which is unique to every business), the data lost could complicate your operations. More essential systems typically have a lower RPO. To determine your business’s RPO, consider variables like:

9. Recovery Time Objective (RTO) 

Along with RPO, the recovery time objective (RTO) plays a significant role in developing a successful disaster recovery plan. The RTO is the tolerable downtime until recovery, or how much time your business has to restore operations after a disaster to avoid unacceptable consequences. These can include extended downtime, lost data or an inability to provide services.

Like RPO, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to calculate your RTO. Critical components would have lower RTOs to ensure continual uptime.  

10. Server Downtime and Uptime

As mentioned earlier, downtime is how long a system or device is not operational. Uptime is the amount of time that a system does not have downtime. For example, if your system was down for 1 hour during a 24-hour period, the uptime would be 23 hours or around 96 percent. Having an uptime of 99.9 percent or higher is favorable for most businesses to reduce the risk of losing data, productivity and possibly clients.

How to calculate server downtime and uptime:

The formula for uptime is straightforward: the total time minus the total downtime, divided by the total amount of time over a specific period. Many businesses track their downtime and uptime at once to get two different perspectives of their system performance.

Why Do You Need to Track Information Technology KPIs?

There’s an old saying: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. But these metrics are only helpful if you know why you’re tracking them. By prioritizing IT KPIs that measure your business’s unique goals, you can focus your efforts on specific areas of improvement to increase your strategy execution and performance management.

Good IT KPIs use fact-based information to measure the progress of your business goals, which you can use to tell a story. For example, server uptime is one of the most commonly measured IT KPIs. When you compare server uptime month over month or year over year, you’ll get a much clearer picture of your IT infrastructure’s performance over time.

IT KPIs that are more relevant to your business can better guide your decision-making so your organization can achieve strategic goals. Focusing on specific information technology KPIs can also help you find a better, faster ROI on your IT spending, which is more important in our increasingly digitized world than ever before.

Partner With Helixstorm to Streamline Your IT KPIs

Information technology KPIs offer valuable insights into the overall performance of your IT infrastructure, along with other critical information like cost and efficiency. If you’re not sure where to get started with tracking KPIs, Helixstorm can help.

At Helixstorm, we go beyond the break-fix model to address systemic issues that are holding your business back. Our managed IT services team can identify the right IT KPIs to help you predict problems before they happen so you can prevent costly downtime, data breaches or other issues.

Contact us today to find out how our technical experts can use data to drive business performance.