Do you understand your business trends?

Are you watching the trends in your business?

Do you understand why the trends occur?

If not, you need to start paying close attention to the business trends of your IT support business. Let’s discuss just a couple of areas you should monitor on a monthly basis.

A.  Help Desk trends:
Simple things can indicate changes in your business that you need to pay attention to. For example, if the number of support calls is on a steady increase it means you will need additional Help Desk staff at some point in time unless you are able to increase your existing staff’s productivity.

Not only that, you may need additional support techs in the areas where the calls are increasing.

Do you know the cause of a Help Desk call spike? Let’s say the number of calls is averaging 500 calls per month and it spikes to 1000 calls followed by 800 calls for a two-month period and then settles back down to around 500 calls per month again.

What caused this spike?

If you don’t know, you need to find out because something occurred to cause this spike in support calls. There is a direct cause and effect relationship somewhere.

Maybe it is because your organization delivered a new software release, , , maybe you just obtained a new set of clients. There is a reason and you need to understand what makes your business operation fluctuate.

B. Financial trends
You need to monitor the financial trends of your IT organization, , , especially the 8 to 10 largest IT expense categories you have.

Do you know why IT salary is increasing or decreasing?

What’s causing your telecommunications expense to increase or decrease?

What caused the spike in hardware maintenance?

It’s wise to monitor these larger expense categories and be able to explain why you have material trends that increase or decrease. You might get a question from your CEO or CFO so it helps to be prepared.

Expenses can also have spikes. A spike increase in hardware maintenance might be for an annual hardware payment, , , and it could be significant. If you aren’t aware of these spikes when you budget you are going to have a difficult time in developing an appropriate budget.

Trends point the way, , , they indicate where your business is headed so pay attention to your business dynamics.

Strong managers understand the dynamics of their business and can explain why something is trending up or down and whether this trend is positive or negative.

Do you know what’s going on in your business?

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