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Understanding the Value of an IT Assessment

Nobody actually loves a health checkup. Whether it’s a routine visit to the doctor or a regular cleaning at the dentist, people tend to neglect what’s best for their health because we default to a break-fix mentality: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Organizations often have the same approach to evaluating their IT environments. But just as routine health screenings for people can prevent bigger problems later, performing regular technology assessments—a complete view of your business and technology needs—can mitigate future risk.

Understanding IT assessments 

The goal of an IT assessment is to optimize IT systems to decrease costs, reduce risk, and improve governance and security. In the simplest sense, it provides verification on what is and what isn’t working. 

A productive IT assessment should provide insight into important questions, such as: 

  • How effectively does your use of technology support your overall business strategy and organizational objectives? 
  • To what degree does your current IT environment align with technology best practices? 
  • How strong is your organization’s IT security? 
  • What is your technology disaster plan? 
  • How does your organization’s IT spend measure against the spend of others in your industry? 
  • What steps should your organization take to make improvements to your IT environment? 

Reasons to undertake an IT assessment 

Because technology constantly evolves, even the most tech-savvy, cutting-edge organizations must continually evaluate advancements in the context of their current IT environment and larger organizational goals. 

And, because threats evolve, too, deficiencies often exist despite best efforts to mitigate risk. An effective assessment should define what’s working well, what isn’t, and provide insight as to why. 

For instance, if an assessment reveals that an organization has two accounting applications, the assessor should question how there came to be two applications in the first place instead of simply providing an inventory. Based on the findings, they can recommend how to move forward. 

In addition to providing a health check of the organization, IT assessments can help organizations determine whether their technology is moving them forward, if their IT spend is appropriate, and give insight about efficiency and  innovation in their IT department. 

What to expect following an IT assessment 

Before you undertake an IT assessment, it’s important to recognize that your organization will need to take recommended actions to gain true value from it. Performing an assessment during or immediately prior to budgeting season enables organizations to effectively plan for the year. 

Although the actions needed following an assessment vary from one organization to another, areas for improvement often include planning for disaster recovery, preventing back-up failures, mitigating security deficiencies, correcting misconfigurations due to staffing or experience issues, and addressing hardware failures unreported due to minimal monitoring. 

How to ensure you select the right provider 

Before undergoing an IT assessment, make sure you find and select the provider that is right for you. Consider asking the assessor the following questions: 

  • What is your IT assessment process? 
  • What methods will you use to evaluate my IT environment? 
  • What will the final deliverable look like following the assessment? 
  • What moves the assessment beyond an IT inventory? 

Resultant IT assessments 

The Resultant business technology team has conducted IT assessments for organizations ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to enterprise-level organizations across a variety of industries. From this experience we’ve built a comprehensive IT assessment methodology. 

We employ objective and quantitative tools like standards SOPs and vulnerability scans and conduct quantitative analysis such as discussions with key personnel to understand technology pain points and organizational goals. The end result is an IT success roadmap that prioritizes actionable recommendations based on need, cost, and impact to the organization. 

Interested in learning more? 

Organizations that undergo an IT assessment have the opportunity to review their environment to ensure it’s moving the business forward. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our team or download more information about the Resultant IT assessment to get started. 

 

Get an IT Assessment

 

Originally published  June 29, 2016. Updated December 1, 2023.

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