The Top Five Considerations When Leading A Technology Assessment

Most companies and businesses are involved in a ‘Digital Transformation’ of sorts to improve business continuity or leverage a better experience for their customers, employees, and stakeholders.

The ‘digital’ part is essential for most companies; communication, messaging, and interaction on all levels of operations involve and utilize technology.

The ‘transformation’ part has been thrusted upon our economy and our daily lives for more than a year now, and the onset brought about some interesting points.

First, companies were forced to accelerate their planned technology initiatives in a fraction of the time than initially thought to implement them. In some cases, it was done hastily and not with a well-planned approach due to an urgent need to keep business moving. Now that things are beginning to adjust post-pandemic, these solutions are being revisited and restructured to be more in alignment with the emerging way that companies will retain talent and do business with their customers.

Assessments are valuable in that they bear the current state or reality of things. To reach an objective, the place of origin must be noted and acknowledged. We have seen companies that would rather just put something new on top of what is there and hope it works out, which turns out to be more costly than originally thought or planned. We’ve put together the following five points to consider in this process that will guide decision makers through how to select the right service provider to support the go-forward strategy.

  1. Know where you ARE

We can’t stress how important this step is. Some of the details we find to be most important in this step are identifying all the technologies in use and where are those licenses managed. Most companies lack knowledge of accurate costs for these services which are almost never documented or accessible in a single location. They often don’t know what services they have under contract and for how long or understand the consequences for leaving those contracts early.  

Without clarity around the current state, these overlooked details always come up and cause delays, confusion, and most of all, money.

  1. What is the objective?

This should be ‘obvious’, but it really isn’t in most situations. Usually, the objective is clouded with technical jargon and super smart people not bringing the user experience of the non-technical people in the organization that will have to use these tools to continue to produce in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.

A birds-eye perspective of describing the objective to include all stakeholders will effectively drive the solution.

Clarification around simple functions like, we want everyone to have their phone number follow them at home or if they come into the office. Perhaps they want to be able to share specific documents or access information from different locations or endpoints. It could be that the internet needs to be faster to accommodate the transfer of data, whatever the objective is, to start in the simplest of definitions is key before moving into figuring out the ‘how’ it’s going to get done.

  1. What are the priorities?

Objectives and priorities sound similar, yet they are fundamentally different in that an objective is a visionary endeavor and priorities are driven by current situations and circumstances. Once the objectives are clear, then the priorities are rendered based on where you are and where you want to go.

Now that offices are beginning to allow workers and employees to come back and perhaps engage in a hybrid model of working from multiple locations, how are the devices used for communication being managed? Is there a policy in place where people can bring their own devices or does the company supply them? How are those devices secured and do they integrate into the communications platform? Maybe it is improvements or upgrading the online remote collaboration tools to increase efficiency?

Whatever is going to have the maximum impact in moving toward the accomplishment of the objective should be identified and prioritized, creating a road map for guidance. 

  1. Distinguishing ‘products’ from ‘solutions’

Getting caught up in what providers have branded or pushed as the ‘only’ or ‘best’ way from a product perspective can hinder focusing on all the possibilities for the actual ‘solution’ needed for the initiative at hand.

In today’s market there are so many options to architect an optimal solution and not all providers can be all things to all businesses. An example could be less known managed service providers are agile and are starting from a place where the processes for purchasing and implementation have been streamlined to produce better outcomes and would not be considered with a pre-disposed attachment to a product or service type. Alternatively, it may be a larger, more established service provider that can effectively meet the requirements.

  1. Clear communication of business requirements

Stating precisely what the objective and priority requirements are to any potential solutions provider is paramount to effectively choosing the right vendor.

We see this critical step overlooked and the outcome turns out equally ambiguous. It is worth the time and effort to dig deep into how the solution will affect all areas of the business and estimate the level of impact it will have on each stakeholder. The ‘due-diligence’ performed will provide benchmarks and insights into time it takes for customer or employee introduction to proficiency to adoption after full implementation, yielding measurement of a return on the investment.

IQ Wired understands the purpose of a digital transformation is to improve business continuity and increase prosperity for all stakeholders. We believe in engaging in a process that has the highest opportunity for successful outcomes when working with technology managed service providers for business-critical operations. Our experience delivers substantial guidance in avoiding costly detours and distractions, call us for a free technology assessment of yo