The new Moneyball: Sabermetrics for better IT performance management

movie popcorn.jpgThe new film Moneyball should be required viewing for everybody in the IT department. The reason:  Thestar” of the story really is technology, not Brad Pitt or even baseball.  The movie brings to light how the use of statistical analysis in an unconventional way can bring a competitive advantage to any team, even the IT department. 

 

In the movie, based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name, Brad Pitt plays Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who used a novel program of computer-generated analysis to build a winning team.  He uses the power of technology and instrumented computer analysis to take unwanted players, buy them on a shoestring budget and build a winning team.  It was the power of information through statistical analysis that made all the difference. 

 

The way the A’s used statistics to predict how potential draft players would perform was unique in 2001.   Today it’s commonplace.  In fact Rick Peterson, the pitching coach of the A’s as at the time Moneyball takes place, says in an interview with www.thebiglead.com, “It’s amazing how technology has advanced the game. We (the A’s) may have been the first club (to use statistical analysis in this way) but now even what we were doing then pales in comparison to what teams can do today.”

 

Sabermetrics for IT—to help you win

This reminds me of the state of the use of comprehensive IT performance systems today.  According to a survey we conducted with IDG a few months ago, most (nearly four-fifths) of CIOs say that proving the ROI of their IT investments is absolutely necessary.  However, many reveal that they employ a fragmented approach to performance management, usually a combination of disparate statistical programs that do not provide an orchestrated, comprehensive view of the entire IT landscape. 

 

What CIOs need to keep a winning edge and continue to prove their value to the organization is comprehensive statistical, instrumented insight delivered via scorecards or dashboards that can be easily digested by different levels of the organization—from the board room down to operations.   Let’s call it sabermetrics for IT.  With these dashboards, IT leaders can access a unified view of their IT landscape and then use that information to adjust and respond to issues.  The final result is the ability to use IT to its most strategic advantage with less time spent on operations and day-to-day maintenance.

 

What the movie Moneyball means to IT

So will your IT team be among the first to adopt a comprehensive performance management program or will you play catch-up as your competitors speed ahead of you?  You can choose, like Billy, to up your game and find a competitive advantage by using a holistic IT performance system with customizable, statistical data to analyze and place value on your IT infrastructure and landscape. 

 

So get your popcorn ready and enjoy the movie! 

 

Related links: 

IDG/HP Research Brief:  IT Performance at the Crossroads

IT Performance Suite 

Comments
mackey | ‎10-11-2011 09:12 AM

I saw the movie Moneyball this weekend.  Couldn't help but think of this blog post.  You are spot on with your analogy.  Great stuff and great movie!

JudyRedman | ‎10-25-2011 08:19 AM

Laura,  CIO magazine has an interesting article on the same topic titled Taking Moneyball Tactics to the Enterprise that has some specific examples of performance management in the corporate IT shop to help companies perform better.  Does anyone have other examples of using IT performance systems in the IT shop?

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Judy Redman has been writing about all areas of technology for more than 20 years.
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