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How to Go About a Technology Needs Assessment

How to Go About a Technology Needs Assessment

If there is one thing that you can always count on from your business’ technology, it’s that it will inevitably fail at some point in the future. Therefore, your business should have a plan to keep this from happening at all costs. It’s understandable that you would want to make sure that your needs are properly evaluated both now and in the future. To this end, a technology assessment is incredibly helpful.

What Does This Focus On?
Looking at your business’ needs in the moment and in the future is key to understanding how technology affects your business. You should look to the past and envision the future within your technology assessment, all while being aware of how your business’ technology is currently being influenced in the present.

The Past
As the philosopher George Santayana stated, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Basically, you need to learn from your mistakes if you want to prevent them in the future. This is one of the most important reasons why you would want to take advantage of a technology assessment, as you don’t want to be blinded by your past decisions when making new ones.

Some of the key ideas to look at are whether or not certain solutions were worth the investment, whether your staff resisted efforts to implement it, and how much capital you actually lost during the implementation process. In particular, it’s important to look at the outcome, as it’s a clear indicator of whether or not the solution yielded a return on your investment.

The Present
One of the first hints that something needs to change is that there are presently issues with your organization that stem from its technology. Are your employees able to properly use their tools to get through their daily duties with minimal trouble? If not, and their work ethic isn’t to blame, could it be the technology at their disposal? Do you see ways that your current solutions aren’t being used to their full potential?

By using this insight, you can reevaluate your investments to make sure that they are as sound as possible. For example, are you getting the most productivity out of a solution if you only know how to use three of its features? Think about topics like this and see just how far you can push your business forward.

The Future
Making progress is the logical prerogative of any organization, so if you start collecting data and making the proper analyses now, you can plan ahead for what the future holds. Ask yourself where you see your business in the next five or ten years, and make educated decisions based on how well they can help you achieve these goals. While it’s possible that life can throw you a curveball, it’s critical that you try to predict these outcomes to the best of your ability.

The Benefits of a Technology Assessment
A comprehensive analysis of your business’ technology is one of the best ways you can make sure that your organization is properly leveraging all of its assets. An assessment is the best way to make sure that you’re not dealing with any troublesome technology issues, and it’s great for honing in on one that has been particularly elusive in the past. It’s ideal if you want to make sure that your infrastructure is working as intended, as well as finding ways that it may not be functioning properly. You can then look toward implementing the best solutions for the particular problem you’re having.

How Technology Needs to Be Assessed
A quick glance is not going to be enough to identify technology problems for your business. You need to take a focused, in-depth approach so that you can gain as much insight as possible from your technology assessment. Here are some of the best practices you can use when assessing your organization’s technology:

  • Examine workflows: If your employees are having trouble with their daily duties, ask them what they are and how they can be resolved. You should be open to their suggestions, as nobody knows your employees’ jobs better than they do themselves. Consider whether or not their suggestions contribute to the big picture, as well.
  • Look at your current technology: Take a critical look at the technology you use on a daily basis. Does it get in the way of your identified goals? Does it help your workflow or hamper it? You need to first understand your current state of technology before attempting to improve your business.
  • Explore alternative solutions: If you’re afraid of change, you won’t get far in business. That being said, you shouldn’t just haphazardly spend money on a solution before investigating it. Do your research and come up with alternatives before investing in a new solution.
  • Make note of your resources: If you do wind up implementing a new solution, it helps to know what you have on-hand before implementing it. This way, you don’t waste money on a solution that is too expensive outright, or a team that’s resistant to change.

Does your business need a technology assessment? Washington Works can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 301-571-5040.

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