Man gives an IT assessment by checking wires in a closet and holding clipboard

Your IT Needs a Checkup: Why It’s Time for a Technology Assessment

In December of 2004, Comair, an airline subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, announced that they had suffered a system overload due to a large number of canceled flights and resulting crew reassignments.

Comair’s computer system shutdown left nearly 200,000 passengers stranded in the days leading up to Christmas. As the official statement mentions, Comair’s IT infrastructure was left unable to deal with the number of attempted scheduling changes that the harsh weather had necessitated. For many families, the system overload was the cause of a very stressful Christmas.

Comair lost an estimated $20 million in revenue, without factoring in their drop in reputation among travelers. But Comair most likely could have avoided their massive tech mishap altogether by running regular technology assessments.

And today, at a time when the majority of business operations depend heavily on technology, regular IT assessments are even more necessary. Regardless of your industry, if you rely on IT for your operations, you need to take the time to ensure that your technology is healthy and will continue to satisfy the demands of your business.

Basics of a Technology Assessment

A technology assessment evaluates your company’s current IT structure, use, and limits. In the case of Comair, a thorough IT assessment from an experienced IT company could have identified potentially disastrous vulnerabilities, including the system’s inability to cope with large amounts of traffic. Identifying potential weaknesses before disaster strikes is a huge benefit of these assessments, as you can be informed and prepare your systems in order to avoid expensive issues that harm your business.

The typical technology assessment analyzes your IT network’s health by evaluating hardware and software, cybersecurity, and backup solutions. It also identifies any weaknesses or threats that could cause your systems to become overwhelmed or vulnerable.

With such an assessment, you’ll receive a report of these potential issues and areas in need of improvement, along with strategic suggestions for strengthening and protecting your IT network.

Improving Performance and Security

According to a KPMG report, almost half of organizations (47%) adopt new technologies without running preliminary technology assessment reports. As a result, they expose their businesses to a variety of unnecessary issues, including technology incompatibility, process downtime, and failure of new technology to fulfill the required functions. Untested and unassessed technologies can also increase vulnerabilities to cyberthreats.

Receiving a technology assessment allows an organization to review the current network’s performance to make it more effective and more suited to the specific demands of the business. Additionally, the assessment can also highlight suggestions for the best technology to implement for your business’s specific needs. A study from 2015 shows that 45% of executives think their business lacks a cohesive digital plan. Without the right IT infrastructure and strategy in place, business growth is out of reach.

Last but not least, when it comes to significant improvements in the business life, 72% of organizations only invest in technology risk assessments after issues have already made an impact, at which point crucial operations and confidential data could already be affected by a cyberthreat. 

With each cyber attack costing an average of $13 million in revenue loss, that isn’t a risk that any business can afford. And even for small businesses that don’t make that much revenue, the risk of revenue loss is just as proportionately outrageous and difficult to recover from.

Receiving a technology assessment can greatly improve your business’s operations by providing recommendations for:

  • Reducing productivity loss that’s caused by an ineffective network infrastructure, insufficient bandwidth availability, and technology incompatibility
  • Avoiding process downtown 
  • Ensuring perfect fit for the implemented and future technology 
  • Ensuring the most cost- and time-effective technology that fits the organization’s objectives and needs
  • Maintaining the security and safety of your network

What to Do After an Assessment

Organizations can work with a professional Managed Service Provider (MSP) to receive a technology assessment. During the assessment, your MSP will require full access to your infrastructure, including hardware and software equipment, as well as members of your team who can identify pain points.

After your assessment, you’ll receive an in-depth report detailing potential issues and areas of improvement and a proposed action plan for moving forward. Your next step will be to continue working with your MSP to implement the changes and improvements that will help your company thrive. They may make recommendations regarding hardware and software to buy and implement, employee training, cybersecurity practices, or many other areas.

Just like every person needs regular health checkups, every business should engage in regular technology checkups to ensure the health of the essential systems that will allow their business to grow.