Change is overwhelming, especially when considering integrating new technology. Make it easier with these five steps to follow before an IT assessment.
Has your organization recently undergone a merger or acquisition? Do you have new leadership? Are you concerned there may be gaps in coverage? If so, it could be the right time to engage in an IT assessment.
While IT assessments are now more commonplace, with numerous companies pitching you daily for your business, you need to keep several essential things in mind to ensure your engagement succeeds. In this blog post, I’ll look at four of the most important factors.
1. Consider Your IT’s Current State
Before you consider an assessment, you need metrics in place to measure your network’s current and future states. For example, knowing where your organization stands in securing its networks is vitally important for leadership to understand. But, it’s equally important to know where the organization wants to be and how to get there. How does your organization compare to others in the industry? Is your organization willing to take a higher risk application security to invest more heavily in network vulnerability?
2. Set Clear Goals
Help the assessor understand your goals as a leader or as an organization so they can focus the assessment on your priorities. Some goals might include:
- Saving money
- Streamlining the function or business
- Understanding where you need to concentrate your budget dollars
- Simplifying systems, processes or practices
- Creating a more agile organization
- Being proactive in addressing a perceived shortfall
- Improving the quality of delivery
3. Remember the “Golden Triangle”
Each point draws upon and supports the other two. If your processes are weak, you may need more personnel to support those processes. Or, you may need automated technology to ensure you overlap process gaps with stronger controls. If your technology is solid, but you have a shortage of qualified staff, you may be at higher risk because you don’t have the personnel you need to address critical issues.
4. Remember Your In-House Experts
A qualified outside expert is a great asset because of their fresh perspective and unique insights, but don’t forget you have experts in-house, too. Many times, a quality consultant simply pulls together the pieces of information from internal staff, verifies the information, and presents it cohesively. Be sure to include internal IT staff, business users, and anyone who is a customer of your IT organization. You’ll gather valuable information by listening to the users who interact with your people, processes, and technology daily.
5. Choose the Best Partner
All of these steps lead to the most important decision: the partner you choose to complete the assessment. Make sure the organization you engage is qualified, has the appropriate staff to complete the assessment in an unbiased and transparent manner, and will work with you and your staff to provide valuable information for your current and future needs.
Mergers, acquisitions and other major changes in your business can be exciting—but also stressful. By following these five steps, you can start your organization on the path to a successful IT assessment that will take some of the worries out of the process, and even make it easier for you to realize the benefits of your new work environment.