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8 Critical Steps of Conducting Technology Needs Assessment

 Technology has become a vital tool for business growth and success. In today’s rapidly changing environment, businesses must ensure a successful adaptation of technological processes to gain an edge over competition and triumph. 


However, growth comes with its fair share of challenges. While technology eases access to information and saves time, it’s not easy to implement. Having an action plan for technological implementations is highly crucial. 

Technology needs assessment can help identify what your company’s technological requirements are and what might future needs be. Technology needs assessment helps gain a snapshot of your current landscape, reveals inefficiencies, and prepares you to purchase new equipment.

1. Go to the source

Your first step must be to go to your source. A company’s source is its employees. Consider conducting a survey or having a one-on-one meeting with employees directly using technological processes—identify areas where staff and management might be facing troubles. Remember, technological insufficiencies can result in underproductivity, inefficient customer service, and reduced staff morale. 

Technology deficiency mainly includes outdated software that is not sufficient enough to carry on daily tasks. The system could lag or take too much time to process operations resulting in hindered output. 

2. Review existing technology

The next, and perhaps a highly critical, step is to review and revise all of your organization’s current technology. You must check each hardware and software and note its age and condition. Also, record and inscribe the business process that best suits your business needs. More importantly, consider taking help from IT support for this step. 

Technology business review saves money, increases productivity, and enhances security. Further, it ensures that the technologies implemented fit the business domain. 

Technological reviews simplify the identification of deficiencies and speed up the implementation of new or updated technology. It’s an essential step toward the technology needs assessment. However, concerns of your employees must always be the main factor when identifying replacements and deficiencies. 

3. Review the current situation

Another crucial step toward conducting technology needs assessment is reviewing your firm’s current situation with your employees. Here, you must discuss and point out that all old technology provides no substantial value. You must also determine which technology needs upgrades or is behind on its maintenance. Think of all the instructional, administrative, and operational gaps you need to fill within your company. 

Remember, you aren’t only looking for something that will work for you today, but you’re also looking for fixes that will benefit you in the long run. For instance, a specific software might fit your organization’s needs entirely. However, the software requires regular maintenance, for which training of employees is imperative. Therefore, training your employees ensures that the newly purchased and integrated software fits your future needs.

4. Define tasks that your technology needs to support 

It is pivotal that you clearly and concisely define all areas and tasks where there is a need for technology. Every task might have different requirements from a specific technology. Therefore, you must ensure that the technology or software supports all possible task requirements.

For instance, in a school or college, technology needs to support tasks such as:

• Digital creation (web design, illustrations, graphic designs, etc.)

• Offering online classes, tests, quizzes, and assessments

• Forum for online discussion

• Recording and uploading presentations

Each task carries different requirements, so you must carefully assess your organization’s needs before deciding. 

5. Consider your resources 

Resources are scarce in every organization. Therefore, you must decide how much time and money you are willing to spend on change. Budgeting is crucial for significant alterations such as technological implementations, upgrades, and changes. 

Budgeting helps you manage your money more effectively, monitor performance, and meet your objectives. Moreover, it helps allocate appropriate resources, increases staff morale, and improves decision-making. 

Hence, resource consideration is imperative when conducting a technology needs assessment. It is vital to undertake decisions that fit your resource constraint, or else you might have to face harsh consequences.

6. Prioritize

After carefully reviewing and identifying specific needs, it is time to prioritize them in order of importance. Remember, you have limited resources, and therefore, you can only address a limited number of requirements and demands. You can organize the needs by information capture and information access. For example, these include something like students’ grades and previous student course grades for an educational institute. Next, look into information processing (grade averages) and information sharing (e-mail, websites, etc.). 

Likewise, compile your needs into different segments. For instance, some needs require technical assistance while others require manual handling. Others might demand a change in the organizational policies, and some might not be significant enough to consider.

7. Consider alternatives 

Technological changes and alterations require significant investment. However, look for alternatives before spending big bucks purchasing a new system or upgrading an existing one. Maybe there is a more straightforward, less expensive solution to your business needs. You might be able to solve your issues with a slight change in your business processes. 

Also, check and carefully examine whether your existing technology is working at its full potential. Often, people are unaware of several features a specific technology consists of because of insufficient training or less expertise. There is a decent chance that your existing technology might solve your tech bottlenecks if inspected by an expert. 

8. Take outside help 

If you are not a technologically sophisticated business with a diverse IT department, consider taking external help. Several outsourcing companies provide IT-related services best suited to your business’s needs. 

Outsourcing is less costly and gives more efficient results. You don’t have to invest in expensive technology or hire experts to carry out tech-related business processes. Instead, you pay a fee to an outsourcing company that does all the work for you. Outsourcing companies usually have access to diverse technologies and a massive workforce with employees specializing in many different tech fields. 

Final thoughts

Technology needs assessment helps identify the impacts of technological changes in business processes. It helps avoid unnecessary duplication of hardware, allows you to plan for a new tech-related purchase strategically, and prepares you for the obsolescence of the current technology.

Finally, it is best if a tech expert conducts a technology needs assessment since they are likely to be more knowledgeable than others. Nonetheless, other crucial employers/employees must also partake in the assessment with tech experts. It will ensure the accuracy and consistency of results.

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