What to Expect from a Business Technology Needs Assessment

What to Expect from a Business Technology Needs Assessment

What to Expect from a Business Technology Needs Assessment

What to Expect from a Business Technology Needs Assessment

Four-minute read

Modern businesses rely extensively on computer hardware and software, all of which inevitably fall into obsolescence or are found to have vulnerabilities. Moore’s Law may no longer be the rule of the day, but you must keep pace with modern business demands to keep your systems free of vulnerability. Thus, it is essential that your enterprise engages in regular maintenance, updates, and upgrades. Further improving necessary systems (along with any related practices, policies, and procedures) can help future-proof an organization ahead of any concerns that may be on the horizon.

Whether you are working on adapting your business to a hybrid model or upgrading older systems for improved stability and performance, this begins with a technology needs assessment. A good assessment process will find your company’s strengths and weaknesses and any unexpected factors that may be holding you back. By thoroughly examining the condition and needs of your enterprise, you can get a clear picture of what is necessary or lacking, what to upgrade – and how, when, and where. Such an assessment will also show how to do so in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, and even help you determine when you will need to fully re-examine everything in the future.

Tech Assessment-Process Graphic

Gather the Relevant Information

Every organization has its own structure and goals. Thus, each one must be carefully examined to determine how its performance compares to its industry at large and what that enterprise needs to bring it up to par or beyond. This will involve discussions and surveys with your employees and related stakeholders who handle the day-to-day business objectives to determine how they work with the technology used to address them. Determining not only what works, but what does not, will be vital to this process, as well as any particular favorites or frustrations they have when it comes to productivity and any effects on their performance and morale.

Review Your Existing Technology

The next task in an assessment is a systematic examination of the technology itself and how it interacts with your stakeholders’ concerns. The age and condition of the hardware are important as outdated devices are less capable, but software is just as necessary to examine, if not more so.

Your machines are the substrate upon which that software runs, but the programs you use are much more often in need of upgrades. Each software’s version and any related updates or patches are important, along with how that software is used and how it compares to others in the industry. Cybersecurity is a vital aspect of the review: your system’s safety is based on devices and applications alike, and the repercussions of a compromised system are costly indeed.

Finding and improving on tool silos is also a necessary part of any technology assessment. Tool silos concern when multiple teams use different software to accomplish the same thing. This practice can be costly and cause disconnection and confusion, so ensuring software alignment across your organization is an important goal to work towards.

One way to achieve this goal is to provide effective training for all staff members; this will maximize technology adoption and minimize the impact of technology changes on productivity. This is one of the many reasons designDATA offers free training to all clients.

Do Your Research – Then Purchase

The best spending is done wisely and carefully. Before you start shopping, ensure you have a solid idea of the needs and wants of your organization’s personnel and its clients and what your systems require to meet or exceed those metrics. Then, purchase consciously to make sure you can meet these needs.

A thorough assessment will give you an idea of your organization’s priorities, with the most important upgrades for best performance (and timely resolution of present or future vulnerabilities) coming first, followed by the “nice to have” items.

Follow Up with Future Reviews

When it comes to an assessment of the tech needs in your enterprise, the only true constant will be change. To keep up with the ever-evolving nature of technology, business, and how they intersect, your organization will need another assessment – and another after that, and so on. Luckily, a great Managed Services Provider (MSP) will annually review your technology road map and business goals to ensure everything is aligned; this includes budget, timelines, and the ability to implement and scale new technology to achieve new business outcomes.

Your assessment results will determine when or even how often following reviews should take place. Think of this as the enterprise-level version of a yearly doctor’s physical. Each one is a snapshot of the organization’s condition, performance, and needs; over time, these reviews can give you an idea of the long-term arc of your business’ approach to changing trends and demands.

Effective communication is essential to make the most of the reviews your MSP implements. Our leaders at designDATA believe strongly in the following client communication cadence: weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, and annual reviews, each with valuable discussion focal points for both teams. This helps us feel plugged into an organization, ready with metrics and adjusted technology goals that reflect what business leaders care about.

How designDATA Can Help

Upkeep of business technology helps your enterprise perform efficiently and achieve its goals quickly. It should be considered a necessary – and mandatory – aspect of doing business. Technology needs assessments ensure your organization stays abreast of ongoing developments and makes the most of them, leading to greater productivity, safety, and longevity.

The most effective technology needs assessments are performed by those with the best skills and experience available. At designDATA, we strive to deliver the best results in these assessments, always ensuring they are valuable and worthwhile. If you have further questions about an evaluation and how we can perform one for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Hardware as a Service: The Best Solution for Companies Returning to the Office

Hardware as a Service: The Best Solution for Companies Returning to the Office

Hardware as a Service: The Best Solution for Companies Returning to the Office

Hardware as a Service: The Best Solution for Companies Returning to the Office

Four-minute read

When planning a return to the office, there are two important considerations: your employees’ health and safety and their technology needs.

Whether embracing an entirely remote workforce, implementing a total return to the office space, or considering a hybrid model, organizations must ensure that all workers are safe and have access to updated hardware and technologies.

Our top recommendation to meet these needs? Hardware as a Service (HaaS). This model is the ideal way to deliver for your teams while streamlining all business functions when returning to the office.

Here are our top three reasons why:

Certainty in uncertain times

Managing technology needs in a socially distanced workspace has been one of the biggest hurdles for chief executives. In these uncertain times, a HaaS plan can provide peace of mind when it comes to keeping your organization’s technology operational and secure.

With a fixed monthly fee, business leaders can manage their expenses without unexpected costs related to hardware maintenance. This is a tremendous advantage for enterprises planning return-to-work strategies where they may need to factor in changing operational and technology needs.

As the service provider is responsible for monitoring and managing equipment, less time and money is wasted on hardware upgrades. Business leaders can focus on other priorities, like keeping their employees safe and increasing productivity.

Ensuring data and network security

With more people working from home, companies are more vulnerable to security risks. Luckily, under the HaaS model, the managed service provider will ensure that hardware is updated regularly. This includes servicing equipment, updating licensing agreements, installing security software, and providing backup and recovery solutions.

Security software updates are crucial – every day cyberattacks become more sophisticated and equipment becomes increasingly susceptible to compromise. Your MSP will ensure that essential security software, like antivirus and data security, is implemented and updated.

Backup and recovery solutions are another integral aspect of your asset security. When employees use their own devices for work, you are relying on them to secure their personal internal or external hard drives to protect sensitive organizational data – the consequences if a cyberattack is successful are drastic. Instead, the HaaS model allows you to take advantage of your MSP’s high-grade backup and recovery solutions.

rows of servers in a data center with a cloud symbol overlay

Cloud services are one such high-grade solution that is a massive benefit of HaaS. Your MSP provider likely offers several top-class private cloud solutions, all of which will protect your data far better than personal clouds. Unlike personal clouds, most MSP cloud offerings include:

High availability: seamless failover if one of your business-critical servers fails, allowing you to continuously enjoy immediate access to your data.

High security: all of the best virtual and physical security measures guard your data and are updated often.

Scalability: easily increase or decrease your virtual environment as your needs change.

Redundancy: multiple backups across several locations so your data is always safe and accessible.

Cloud sync: when enabled, you can automatically sync data across devices.

Scale according to your business needs

The pandemic has forced organizations to rethink their office spaces, and bringing employees back to work involves careful planning that may require companies to scale up or down, depending on their operational and employee requirements.

A HaaS model has built-in scalability, allowing you to add, remove, and replace hardware as your organization’s needs change, providing the best solution for companies returning to the office.

Moreover, a really valuable HaaS program will also offer hot-swapping: for a defined number of years, the MSP will replace or add any components to your hardware without stopping, shutting down, or rebooting the system. As organizations return to the office, this service is critical. The functioning of businesses moving forward is somewhat fuzzy and having the reliability and flexibility of hot-swapping is necessary.

Choosing a HaaS Provider

designDATA offers rugged, modern hardware that caters to your organization’s unique requirements. With recently upgraded HaaS services, we have five equipment profiles with upgrades and customization options for each. We would love to help ease your transition back to the office in any way.

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