Benchmarking is necessary to see how you compare to the rest of your industry and the wider business community. It also offers valuable insight into where you can make improvements quickly and how far you have to go before, you’re hitting best practice.

While it’s good to monitor and measure progress, there are other benefits that come from benchmarking – especially when it comes to IT. As the backbone of every organisation, your IT needs to be on point because it has the capacity to help or hinder you in a variety of ways.

Here’s how:

Dramatically reduce costs

It’s an obvious place to start – but also the one that is likely to appeal to SMEs and business owners. When you benchmark, you’re aiming at best practice for the industry. For IT, that covers a multitude of areas – from the way you approach security through to how you run processes and store your data. Each of those when managed correctly – and according to industry best practise – can save you money.

Take your data storage and governance for example. Industry best practice says that you should adopt a cloud-first policy where appropriate. Over time, you can monitor your current data storage e.g. a data centre, and compare the costs for that against those of a cloud storage provider. You can also look at elements like service disruptions, flexibility, and scalability to determine whether or not to make a switch.

Over time, cloud services allow you to flex, adjust and scale according to demand and can be a lot cheaper than data centres in the long term (through economies of scale). Only you can make that decision to switch of course – but in order to do so, you need clear insight.

Boost efficiency

According to industry research, workers lose an average of around 33 hours a year because of IT-related disruptions. However, those whose IT is in the top 25% only lose around 15 hours per year, and the worst performing close to 45 hours. More often than not, those at the lower end of the scale had persistent issues with hardware, software, and outages. All things can be monitored, measured, and mitigated through benchmarking.

That’s just basics, right? Well, let’s look at it another way. Let’s say you have 50 staff in your charity. If each is losing 33 hours a year that’s 1650 hours your business loses. The average work year has about 1,700 productive hours in it per full-time equivalent (FTE) – so in effect, you’re losing one person or £27,500 (the average charity salary in the UK) a year – remedying that will again save you time and money.

Make faster decisions

Time and tide wait for nobody. In the fast-paced modern business world, being able to move quickly and ahead of the competition is a major competitive advantage and crucial for success. Knowing that your IT can support your growth and the demands a pivot in your business strategy could place on it is therefore hugely important.

Benchmarking your IT gives you the insight and peace of mind to make those decisions quickly and confidently. If you know where your IT is and where it is heading, then you can confidently rely on it and also justify any future current or future spend that supports business growth. It also gives you the confidence to excel where it matters. Visit for more information.