If selected correctly, technologies can create competitive advantages for organizations. However, this selection process is often one among the foremost challenging decisions businesses face. Technology assessment done before the technology adoption reduces the danger of ineffective investment decisions.
We often forget a fundamental truth: software may be a tool. It’s something that’s designed to assist you in doing employment better, faster and more efficiently.
But like all tools, if you employ the incorrect one, you’re not getting the results you would like . you’ll have the fanciest screwdriver within the world, but it’s never getting to be excellent at hammering in nails.
That’s why it’s absolutely critical to conduct a radical technology assessment, so you recognize you’ve got the proper tool to urge the work done.
Here’s how you are doing it.
Why Bother With a Technology Assessment?
First, a technology assessment makes it far more likely to urge an answer that suits your requirements and environment. We frequently know we’ve a drag and may visualize the perfect state we would like our technology solution to urge us to. However, it’s challenging to understand the way to get there because it’s easy to confuse the symptoms with the explanation for a drag . Thus, you finish up solving the “symptom” with a (potentially expensive) piece of technology that’s ill-equipped to deal with the underlying cause.
A structured process to assess and choose a technology solution helps you get around this problem, reduce risks, and achieve your true objective, by forcing you to both identify the proper problem and solve it within the right way.
Now that we all know why we should always do a proper technology assessment, how does one actually do it?
Step 1: Discovery
The first step towards picking the proper technology is discovery. The aim of the invention phase is to deeply understand your existing reality, the matter you’re solving, and who you’re solving it for.
Understanding your current technology ecosystem
You need to get your current technology environment. This includes both the solutions you’re currently using also because the systems and processes wont to connect those systems. an honest thanks to check out this is often to seem at it through the lens of a business process, and searching at what data is moved along the way, where that data is stored / what’s the source of truth, and the way it gets from point A to point B.
A few inquiries to consider during this phase are:
- What data is vital here?
- Who’s owning each system?
- What’s the source of truth for this process?
Understanding the matter
Next, you would like to know the matter , both in terms of the business and in terms of your end-user experience.
For example, say you’re a sales organization struggling to hit your targets. Your business problem could be that you simply aren’t generating enough new business, and you’re unsure why, what to try to do about it, or where to enhance . within the same instance, your end-user problem could be that they don’t know what works and what doesn’t, so your sales reps just guess.
So your problem might boil right down to documenting and sharing data readily throughout the sales organization so you’ll make better decisions and drive more revenue.
By combining both a business problem and therefore the end-user problem, you’ll get a far better sense of what the particular problem is, and start to plan how to unravel it.
Understanding your people
Finally, you would like to know your people. That end-user insight isn’t going to come unless you’re taking the time to actually understand what your end users are battling and link this back to the high-level business problem. Shadowing of how people do their jobs, reviewing the prevailing usage data, user interviews, and rapid prototype testing are all excellent ways to uncover this information.
Once you’ve got a holistic understanding of your technology environment, you’ll advance to the subsequent step: analysis.
Step 2: Analysis
By the end of the invention stage, you ought to be armed with information about where you’re now and where you would like to travel . Ideally, you’ll have the beginnings of requirements to urge there.
Next, you would like to research the precise functionality that you simply have internally and the way it’s currently being applied.
Since you’ve got an honest understanding of the matter , the goal, and therefore the environment and systems, an honest place to start out is to see what your existing tech stack can do.
You need to see how the technology is being applied at a granular level. What’s more, you would like to see how it’s being worked around or misused. Are end-users avoiding features and functions? If so, why?
The reason you would like to poke into these problems is that you simply won’t need as complex an answer as you thought. much more often, organizations are misusing their existing stack instead of using it to its full potential and still running into problems.
That said, you’ll find some gaps and holes. That’s where your technology assessment should focus, especially as you flesh out the wants for what to shop for to realize your business objectives. The top state of the Assess and Analysis stage is an understanding of credible and prioritized options to fill your gaps with the pros and cons of every option.
Step 3: Define & Develop
Next involves define and develop. you’ve got a high-level business goal and an honest understanding of the matter , environment, and therefore the holes you’re trying to plug.
Next, you would like to create your vision for the top state. It’s not almost what problem you’re looking to unravel , but more granular; what’s your technology solution getting to do/drive the business forward?
One common problem we see during this stage may be a misalignment between the business, ops teams, and overall technology strategies. The challenge is that early research is usually completed by technology teams (IT, etc…) but actually , the whole project must be rallied round the business and operational requirements.
To do so, you would like to develop and define your technology vision through the lens of the business and operational requirements. Ask yourself: does this feature/function/vendor solve the matter that the corporation has?
Naturally, there’s getting to be some give and take here. Every decision or option you present will have tradeoffs. Defining and developing is about refining your vision right down to being laser-focused on the business problem, and using the standards you’ve built thus far to hone in on exactly what you would like .
Step 4: Document
The final step is to place all of your work down on paper during a well-documents plan. Your final document should include:
- A high-level overview
- A crisp explanation of what you’re solving and what you’re posing for
- All the small print of the implementation and deployment
- Details on project timelines and ownership.
One final piece of documentation is verbal communication. confirm that the entire team knows the “elevator story”—that is, the high-level messaging to capture the interest and a spotlight of key executives. you’ll also have to schedule meetings with the chief decision-makers to realize buy-in. Ideally, these should be done one on one then collectively, so there’s both individual and group support. Finally, be able to iterate as needed and support executive feedback. Don’t assume simply because it’s in your plan. Remember to be flexible, because it’s far better to tweak the project now than find yourself with technology you’re unhappy with.
As businesses get more complex, manual processes and systems become increasingly error-prone and risky, to not mention expensive and slow. Technology can help automate, streamline, and refine, giving valuable team members the space they have to try to do meaningful, high-value work.
Getting buy-in for it, buying the proper tool, then seeing that business impact, though, is way from simple.
Hopefully though, with these four steps, you’ll move toward your business goals by building then executing your technology assessment plan. From here, your next steps are to pursue the precise technology you would like to acquire , document detailed requirements, evaluate vendors, and negotiate the paperwork. Once you decide on a vendor, start a consultative, collaborative approach to style and other steps for implementation. Remember that successful technology implementation requires a broader specialize in process and organizational design. to realize business value, consider how the technology change will drive changes in your metrics and support models.
Then implement, integrate, maintain… and repeat!