Do I Really Need An IT Assessment?

June 7, 2019

All too often companies dive into IT projects before taking an honest look at their organization’s actual needs. In most cases this happens because of an urgency to solve an immediate problem, or a salesperson is persuasive enough to convince leadership that they have a solution that their company cannot live without.

But, just like diving into a pool, you should always look before you dive so you know exactly what you are getting into. Diving is for the deep end, and there’s a lot to look at on the way to the bottom.

Needs assessments are one of the most important steps in any technology investment. If you don’t know the scope of your organization’s needs, how will you ever measure the success of your project?

Today, too many IT projects fail (68% to be exact) because leadership, and project managers alike, fail to take the time to pause and assess the needs of its company, and its stakeholders — both internally and externally.

Some of the specific ways an IT project can fail include:

  • Launching a product that is too sophisticated for the actual business process
  • Not providing adequate training to employees
  • Choosing a product purely on price because what the business really needed was too expensive
  • "Bolting" too many add-on products to clunky legacy systems because replacing them entirely seemed impossible

Whether done on your own, or with a hired professional, a needs assessment can help align your company’s needs with its wants for your project’s best chance of success.

Needs assessments can be as simple as identifying:

  • Gaps between current conditions and desired goals
  • Data logs of stakeholder operations and key business processes
  • Stakeholder self and peer reviews of daily work
  • Hardware age, functional status, and service history
  • Software versions and update history
  • Annual expenses (both hard and soft costs)

When done properly, a needs assessment can give you valuable insight into your organization such as:

  • Hard data to support future IT, business, and financial decisions
  • Insight into what applications are used most or not at all
  • Specific areas where operations could be improved
  • Redundant processes that could be simplified
  • Insight into what hardware is and isn’t keeping pace with your business
  • A high level snapshot of your overall IT infrastructure
  • How much you are actually spending
  • Compliancy (if your industry is one that must stay on top of changing regulations)

Before you even consider a new IT product or service, take the time to know your strengths and weaknesses, and where you need the most help. With technology, nothing is guaranteed. The more planning and thought you put in at the beginning of the project, the better your outcomes will be in the end, and the more likely it is that you will succeed.

If you’re still not sure where to start, give us a call. We can help get you on your way with a full assessment of your network infrastructure to determine if, and how, CDS Managed IT Works will benefit your business. Over time, CDS Managed IT Works will take your IT environment from good to great, aligning you organization’s strategic goals to your very own, custom-designed technology “road map” and budget.

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Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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