Most IT folk have heard of, or even have conducted a benchmark in their professional lifetime. It is even endorsed by and should complement pretty much all ITSM leading frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT.

There are many reasons why organisations should benchmark IT service delivery, which could fall into the following:

  • Internal, executive pressure to be market compliant and competitive.
  • Skepticism of the price and/or quality of IT service delivery (either internally or externally) to their business users.
  • Political reasons (yes, really)
  • Trying to ascertain strong and weak points within IT service delivery; identifying improvement opportunities and leveraging/promoting strong IT service areas.

Feedback we receive from previous experiences of benchmarking are typically ‘not positive’ to put a positive spin on it. Benchmarking can lead to stakeholders becoming disillusioned with the process as the ‘art’ can’t or isn’t explained properly, leading organisations to question the validity and even more worryingly, the value of benchmarking as a whole.

Organisations can and have invested heavily into benchmarking and consultative services (not just financially) with differing results from differing benchmarking organisations. Somewhere along the line, the value of benchmarking has become diluted with a necessity to simply benchmark as it ticks a box in the periodic IT plan as conducting ‘due diligence’.

But what tangible and intangible value has been realised when the dust has settled on the report and it is stored away until the next benchmark report?

Sure, numbers have been provided and commentary has likely been provided, but how does it help the recipient of the report?

  • Does the benchmarking organisation even explain how to use the report, or have they moved onto the next customer already?
  • What happens next when service areas are more expensive than the market? How do you approach the vendor, will the benchmark be taken seriously by them?

The two main factors that affect the credibility of any benchmark are:

  • Has the benchmarker even got applicable market data to compare your unique environment in the first place?
  • Have they applied (or even shared with you) a methodology that you (and inevitably the services vendor/s) not only understand, but are comfortable with?

ETBS shows the kind of care you have not come to expect in benchmarking. We go above and beyond what is expected for a benchmark, to ensure ALL recipients of our benchmarking reports garner true value from benchmarks. We do this because we are boutique; i.e. we don’t have hundreds of resources providing ‘one to many’ datasets across customers and we don’t have a sales team incentivised by commissions. We simply have a small team of dedicated benchmarking consultants who are passionate about our craft and care about providing our clients with the most detailed, context-driven reporting outputs that meet their precise needs.


The team at ETBS would be delighted to assist you in your business improvement journey. To ensure we are the right fit for your needs we offer an obligation free first consultation where we can explore your needs, suggest a course of action and outline costs.