As you may have guessed from its name, a technology assessment is the process of auditing your current technology and how it affects your business and environment. It’s a simple enough concept to grasp, but one that’s seems surprisingly hard to execute due to its vagueness. Where do you even begin? And what does it all even mean after you make it through the process? To answer these questions, ironically you’ll be entering a process that involves asking even more questions. Here’s a quick rundown of what to consider as you do your own technology assessment.
What Do We Already Have?
Before anything else, start inventorying the assets your company has. This alone can be pretty enlightening – discovering tools you didn’t know your team was utilizing or tools you thought you had but don’t. You’ll want to use a loose definition of technology here as well to get a complete inventory. This means recording not just software and apps, but everything from digital cameras to printers as well.
How Do We Currently Use Our Tech?
Once you know what you have, it’s time to begin soul searching. Looking at each item, you’ll want to define how it’s used and what policies you have in place for each piece. If you don’t have a policy in place for some of your tech, why not? Interview the stakeholders in your business to find out exactly how they’re using certain tech in their jobs. How are you using something compare to the industry standards? This will answer some tough questions right away, especially for defining what software or services you no longer need.
Part of a good technology assessment is also looking at your website and all other outward facing digital materials. When you assess this, you’ll want to contemplate how these could be improved or better maintained. Knowing your gaps and weaknesses will give you guidance as you take your next steps into improving your technology.
What Do I Do Next?
This the big one. But by this point in the process, some of the answers may be more or less obvious. You’ve looked at what you have and what you don’t, so now it becomes a matter of prioritization. With that also comes assessing your budget. You may find that you have a lengthy wish list of new tech and upgrades you want but not the funds to make them happen. That’s okay – lots of business face the same hard choices. You’ll need to begin the process of taking this information and figuring out what needs to be immediately addressed, what fits into your pressing business goals, and what can wait.
These are tough calls to make and can be hard to make on your own. We can help. Outsourcing your technology assessment can give you a fresh perspective and our experts can give you definitive direction in deciding where you need to take your tech next. Give us a call today.