Top 3 NOC/Operations Team KPIs
Perhaps one of the largest things we take for granted, as humans, is the ability for our body to work in coordination with itself, even when each distinctive part is doing its own thing. For example, when we walk, our arms swing. Their job? To help keep our torsos and hips steady from the impact of our feet hitting the ground. In fact, research suggests that even that small swing saves the muscles in our legs from expending energy. If that swing suddenly stopped, we’d likely notice. There might be some pain and walking might be a bit more difficult. Truth is, businesses aren’t that much different.
When functioning well, as a finely-tuned machine, each of your teams is going to be contributing, in its own way, to your forward progress. More specifically, your Sales Team is going to contribute to success in different ways than your Project Team, Service Team, or Finance Team, but each will be vital. Let’s not forget about your NOC/Operations Team, arguably the lifeblood of your organization.
Much like our bodies, we want to check in on our teams, check their performance, and ensure that everything continues to move smoothly. For that reason, setting goals, and tracking and monitoring KPIs, is an essential piece to ensuring success. For your NOC/Operations team, whose mission is critical, we recommend including 3 specific KPIs to track on NOC dashboards.
- What are Network Operations Center (NOC) services?
- How to choose NOC dashboards to monitor
- Top 3 KPIs for Operations and NOC teams
- How BrightGauge helps you track NOC performance metrics
What are network operations center (NOC) services?
Network Operations Center refers to the primary location used by network services to monitor and manage IT infrastructure and services, including databases, applications, security, and hardware components. For that reason, it’s a vital part of any business that relies upon any kind of IT services for its core business.
The network operations staff is typically the first team to recognize system bottlenecks, potential service disruptions or slow downs, or to identify threats, risks, or active attacks on a network. Because a good portion of what they do is securing your IT resources to ensure their reliability, they’re a vital part of your team.
In fact, it’s this team that helps nearly every other team in your business. They ensure your staff can access the information, systems, files, and databases they need. And, further, they ensure your customers can access the information or services they need. As such your operations team must have a working relationship with them and open communication to ensure that the services that generate revenue are not interrupted or impacted by IT issues. If you’re in the IT, SaaS, MSP, or any business that provides critical IT services, your operations team and your NOC are one and the same.
How to choose NOC dashboards to monitor
Prior to building BrightGauge, our founders Brian and Eric Dosal owned an MSP, so they have been ingrained in the industry for quite some time. They have first-hand experience of what it takes to run an operations center successfully. This paired with insight from industry benchmarks has helped us prioritize goals.
Obviously, in choosing KPIs to monitor, you’ll want to select the metrics that really isolate and help determine how effective a specific team is. For that reason, you’ll want to first identify the team’s primary purpose and goals. For an operations team, a good part of that will be related to security, but you’ll also want to keep an eye on metrics that matter to you.
The recommendations we’re making are based on our experience, but we recognize you may have different metrics that matter to you, which is okay! Every business leader has to run their business on their own terms, but we believe our advice can provide a bit of guidance.
Top 3 KPIs for Operations and NOC teams
NOC technicians are the ones getting their hands dirty, so to speak, when it comes to your technical tasks and issues, so their contributions are going to be pretty significant to company performance. They are monitoring networks and working hard to ensure that everything runs as it should.
The results of an Operations Team’s actions, whether good or bad, will have an impact on your reputation, so it’s important to give this team careful attention. Monitoring their actions through NOC dashboards will help you stay on a path towards success.
Critical Alerts/Issues Opened
Handling incoming tickets and escalation in an organized and effective manner takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s absolutely necessary. Not only will monitoring critical alerts help you be proactive in resolving issues before they become disasters, but it also shows that you’re intent on meeting SLAs and providing your clients with great service.
Additionally, tracking your issues opened will allow you to identify trends over time - are you noticing that the same clients are opening tickets time and time again? Do you need to charge them more? Are there recurring issues that can be prevented?
Taking note of patterns by use of NOC dashboards will make you a stronger and more productive agency over time.
All service technicians understand that regular backups help networks run optimally. Additionally, backups are vital to business continuity should disaster strike. For those two reasons, backups are a daily task in a NOC, so keeping track of them is a necessity and most likely a part of your SLA.
When a backup is missed, internal teams need to understand why and clients must also be notified. NOC reports keep things transparent, keep you accountable, and allow for trustworthy partnerships.
Why is documentation so critical? Here’s one example. You likely have more than one NOC technician employed and it’s possible your techs work on different client sites. What happens if a client has an urgent issue and their assigned tech is on vacation? Ideally, a documentation trail outlining a history of the work that’s been done for that client will guide any other tech in solving the issue.
There are bound to be countless other important documents that are specific to a NOC and keeping them organized and accessible ensures that things run smoothly.
Tracking how often your team members are documenting (per day or per week) holds them accountable and encourages a really productive, transparent department. It also helps you see how well (or not) you’re adhering to client SLAs, so that you can take corrective action if necessary.
How BrightGauge helps you track these metrics
BrightGauge pulls data in from different business solution tools you’re most likely using, like ConnectWise Manage, Datto, Backup Radar, Webroot, IT Glue, and more. Whether you are using an RMM, PSA, or a financial tool, BrightGauge compiles all of your important metrics into one operations dashboard, so you can keep an eye on the data that matters most to you.
Since a lot of work in the IT industry is time-sensitive, we built BrightGauge with the intention of allowing you to get going on day one. For each of our integrations, we determine the top metrics to track and pre-build gauges, dashboards, and reports based on that information, which means that you’ll have access to your data as soon as you open an account.
As a business leader, there’s so much you have to monitor and take into account on a daily basis, and our goal for BrightGauge is that it helps you manage your daily tasks more easily.
Aside from displaying your data in one NOC dashboard, BrightGauge gives you the power to create custom, interactive reports you can automatically share with your clients (transparency for the win!), and helps you foster an accountable and motivated team through goal-setting and tracking.
You’ve got a lot of KPIs to track and BrightGauge can help you get a handle on that. If you want to learn more about the importance of KPIs and how BrightGauge can help you create custom dashboards to monitor what you need, get in touch with our team today!