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Benchmarking refers to testing a product or service against a reference point to quantify how much better or worse it is compared to other products. Benchmarking is the standard way of comparing one product to another. With technology in particular, benchmarking against competing products is often the only way to get an objective measure of quality. This is because many tech products increase rapidly in measures such as speed and storage size when compared to the previous version from the same company, making comparisons between the versions virtually useless.
For example, the capabilities of a computer may be benchmarked by running a standardized torture test. In a broader sense, a company may be benchmarked against all other companies in its industry for a specific criteria like product support.
Benchmarking has several nuances in IT: