What is an I.T. & Business Assessment?
As your business continues to grow, many opportunities and challenges will occur. Some of these opportunities are easily resolved, while others require the resources and energy of the entire organization. When constraints start to impact the performance of your organization, steps will need to be taken to understand the problem and build a plan to move forward. Some of these constraints could be the result of an aging technology infrastructure, outdated processes, or unknown functionality gaps that have evolved over time. An IT & Business Assessment of your organization will help identify a path to addressing different issues, risks, and methods of improvement. Additionally, assessments can also be the backbone of a strategic plan or roadmap for transforming your organization.
An IT & Business Assessment involves a deep dive into your organization’s processes, technology, data, organizational structure, resource allocation, and management structure. An assessment will help you identify where opportunities for improvement exist and will set the foundation of a focused solution for the future. For instance, while the first inclination of your organization may be to completely replace a major software solution, increase staffing levels, or even to re-engineer problem processes, an assessment may help you understand the real root cause or basis for making organizational improvements.
Possible reasons for an I.T. & Business Assessment
While your organization is unique, these can be the impetus to do an IT and Business Assessment:
- New executive management: When new executives come in, there is a desire to understand the organization and why things are done the way they are. Organizations are often stuck doing things the way they do because they’ve always been done that way.
- Increased member, employer, or stakeholder expectations: Any organization that processes benefits these days are compared to other financial institutions, and a variety of online services are now the norm.
- Growing backlog of work: For any number of reasons, work has been backing up to the point of not meeting internal and external service-level objectives.
- Manual workarounds: Employees are reliant on an excessive number of manual workarounds due to inefficient system processes or incorrect data, and they are highlighting inefficiencies.
- Data issues: The data may have been clean years ago. But as systems were merged, as operational requirements shifted, and as processes evolved, the data has become incomplete or broken.
- Poor work quality: Work is being completed but, due to insufficient internal controls, the risk of errors has increased. Or due to outdated or excessive controls, work cannot be done efficiently.
- Software bugs: As modifications to aging software occur, risks increase of breaking existing functionality as the system becomes more unstable.
- Aging technology infrastructure: Most of today’s software solutions must integrate with various other modules, applications, or services. These various software components are updated at different times but still require the need to communicate with each other. Eventually, support from the software vendor becomes unavailable which further exacerbates the problem.
- More software functionality is available: Today’s enterprise systems provide so much more integrated functionality, and it’s important to keep up with what other organizations are doing to provide better service to your constituents.
- Budget cuts: The need to just as efficient with a lower budget and/or less resources are a valid reason to validate and understand how things are done and to identify opportunities to improve.
Potential solutions to your issues
- Business Process Improvement/Re-engineering: Performing a full-scale system or software replacement may be an attractive solution to your immediate problems. But process-related issues are not always the result of system issues. Sometimes the best response to inefficiencies within your organization is not to replace a system or software entirely, but rather to improve processes, and making minor, incremental software enhancements that have high impact. Leveraging various process improvement techniques- such as Lean Six Sigma- may resolve the issues that you are currently facing.
- Technology Enhancement: Your organization may be running at peak performance in terms of business processes and staff efficiency, but your aging technology infrastructure may be the constraint that is preventing you from meeting your business needs. In these situations, the implementation of new technology may be your best path forward.
- Resources re-evaluation: Your organization may have the processes and technology in place that you need to be effective, but the way your organization is structured may not be optimized to work efficiently. Changing the makeup of your resource allocation and overall organization structure may be what you need to improve production.
- Insufficient Organizational Change Management: Your organization, your industry, or the systems you use to run your operations are changing. Too often the management of change is something that is brought in after the change occurs. If change is not planned and managed early, then it may not be accepted well later.
Have questions? We can help.
Linea Solutions has been providing strategic guidance that has improved our clients for over 20 years. We would be happy to meet with you over a videoconference to discuss what type of assessment would be ideal for your organization. If you have questions about the best way to improve your organizational efficiency, contact us to see how we can help.