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IT Strategy | Risk & Compliance | Tech Tips

The Essential Guide to Technology Assessment

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Technology is a core component of any flourishing business.

However, there’s a problem: There’s so much tech out there, and it’s challenging to understand where to invest to yield the most growth.

Emerging tech is rapidly developing, from generative AI to machine learning to cybersecurity. Often, this leaves businesses feeling overwhelmed and left behind.

Knowing how to conduct a technology assessment is crucial to overcoming these feelings, as it helps determine your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of potential. Then, it recommends certain solutions and a plan to implement them.

Below, we’ll go into detail about technology assessments. We’ll explain what they are, how they benefit companies, and how to know if you need one.

What Is a Technology Assessment?

Technology assessments are processes of reflection and discovery. Any good tech assessment asks and answers fundamental questions about a business’s current tech status. Then, it points the business toward solutions, allowing it to move comfortably into the future.

Essentially, the assessment looks at the business’s current tech stack. Then, it’s a process of identifying gaps or flaws in the structure. From there, companies build a road map for initiating change. Finally, the tech assessment helps build an IT strategy for documenting and monitoring changes. This way, companies can assess their choices and make additional changes if needed.

The goal is to improve operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line by streamlining workflows with the right technology. 

At this point, a common question pops up: Who needs a technology assessment? 

The need for a tech audit is practically ubiquitous. Ninety-nine percent of businesses rely on at least one digital solution; an even higher number would benefit from a thorough assessment of their infrastructure. 

Lastly, it’s important to understand the cost of a technology assessment. There’s no set price, as it drastically depends on the scope of your tech needs. Some companies have a robust IT team that’s fit to do it internally. Here, the only cost is the opportunity cost of putting time and effort into the assessment rather than other work.

However, many companies don’t have the qualifications to run a full-scale tech assessment. Instead, they contract a third party to do it for them, and costs range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands, depending on the scale. 

What Are the Benefits of a Technology Assessment? 

A tech audit, done right, yields immense benefits. But are they worth the cost? 

Cost Reduction

First and foremost, tech assessments are pivotal to reducing costs. Modern businesses employ between 40 and 60 apps, which can be wildly expensive. A tech assessment separates the valuable solutions from the gratuitous ones, showing businesses where their needs reside. A good assessment identifies where you can consolidate your tech solutions. This alone can save you thousands of dollars and boost your productivity by centralizing work into core channels. 

Better Performance

There’s also a performance benefit that comes via technology optimization. Good assessments reveal the inadequacies of your current solutions. Then, you can choose better technology to increase productivity, bolster security, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Alignment and Collaboration

Lastly, tech assessments enhance business alignment and collaboration. With the dawn of remote work, operations are more spread out, often globally. Without the proper collaborative tools, productivity can suffer, and businesses may find it hard to stay on course to meet their goals and fulfill their mission statements. 

Assessments help you take a step back and identify key areas to improve to meet your unique goals.

Of course, the benefits sound great. But how does the process work? Next, we’ll cover a few technology assessment best practices to consider. 

4 Things to Consider When Conducting a Tech Assessment

A tech assessment is a multi-stage process. For best results, the process should be broken down into individual stages. Then, you can tackle challenges with a narrowed focus and better delegation as you initiate organizational change. 

Analyzing Your Current Tech Stack

First things first: You have to know everything you have in place to understand where your needs lie.

Here, it’s essential to have an experienced CTO or third-party organization to evaluate your current state and ask the right questions. During this stage, it’s important to ask questions about the following:

  • Digital app and network integrity
  • Cybersecurity gaps and vulnerabilities
  • Regulatory compliance 
  • Technology delivery and update processes
  • Data storage and handling practices

Every component requires a scrupulous interrogation. This way, you get a clear understanding of your baseline capabilities so you can eventually identify areas of improvement. 

Another reason hiring an outside party is helpful is that it eliminates the likelihood of confirmation bias or internal arguments. However, whether it’s done internally or via a third party, the goal is obtaining an objective evaluation. 

Tech Discovery

Selecting the right tech requires knowing what’s out there, which requires research. As you choose the best tools, list your current solutions and which areas require the most improvement. Also, identify any gaps where tech solutions are missing entirely.

Beginning with core problem areas, determine what’s being offered to address your specific needs.

Continue expanding this research throughout the process, comparing prices, features, scalability, and support to ensure you eventually invest in the most future-proof solutions for your business. 

Developing an Implementation Plan

Building a technology road map is the best way to update your tech stack. Don’t expect to solve everything with a single solution. It’ll likely be a process that starts with identifying key pain points based on order of importance.

This plan begins with outlining your business objectives. Then, it must be balanced with budget limitations to estimate how you can most efficiently spend your available resources. 

Along with a budget, a rollout timeline should also be incorporated, as this is crucial to delegating tasks, managing expectations, and reducing potential downtime. 

Documenting the Process Stage by Stage

Record and document actions at each stage as you go about your research, analysis, and implementation. 

Keeping track of all your technology is incredibly complicated, and subpar documentation makes it more likely that you’ll stray off course and miss opportunities for change. 

Within this documentation should be consistent reporting. All actions should be compiled, summarized, and shared with stakeholders. In addition, employees must be made aware of and trained to use new tools or processes. 

For example, say you’ve decided to implement a new multifactor identification process to enhance your security. First, there should be a company-wide announcement and an explanation of what that means. Then, if necessary, institute further training and verify that all parties are aware of the changes and are acting according to the updated company policy. 

Take Control of Your Tech

Do you want to schedule a technology assessment? Consider partnering with ISOutsource and take the first step toward digital transformation. Our expert full-service tech assessments and audits help small and midsize businesses confidently take the leap into the future while staying in line with federal and corporate regulations.

We understand that tech assessments drastically vary based on the company’s size and needs. With this in mind, we take a tailored approach to every assessment, ensuring that businesses pay only for what’s absolutely necessary for their long-term success. 

Contact us today to learn more and speak to one of our professionals about scheduling a technology assessment with ISOutsource.