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Updated by Charles Bystock on 02/16/2018

IT Infrastructure Assessment ToolsThere’s no question conducting an IT infrastructure assessment can benefit your company in many ways. You can use what you learn from your assessment to improve annual and long-term planning and improve daily operations so that you can reduce costs yet be more productive.

But to gain those advantages, your IT infrastructure assessment has to be thorough. And it has to be absolutely accurate. Whether you’re looking at functions or costs, omissions or mistakes will skew your analysis and leave you with misguided conclusions.

So how do you conduct a truly great assessment? Where do you even find the tools to ensure you’re asking the right questions, so you can assemble all the necessary data and uncover every opportunity? There are actually several ways you might want to approach this process.

You can look online.

You can perform a search and find any number of do-it-yourself IT infrastructure assessment tools. Some of them are downloadable for free – although you’ll probably get a follow-up sales call to “upgrade” – and you’ll also find software applications you can purchase. Either way, it’s up to you to figure out whether the tools you’re acquiring are truly comprehensive to accomplish your assessment goals.

You can look inward.

Your own IT staff are skilled and experienced, and they’re certainly familiar with what you have and how well it’s working. They know your internal quirks and priorities – the things that make your enterprise unique. So your staff represents a set of “tools” you can use to assess your IT capabilities.

But are they too close to the situation? Sometimes it’s hard for those involved day in and day out to step back and look dispassionately at the broader environment. And if the goal of your IT infrastructure assessment is implementing transformative change, your staff may be worry about their future position.

Most important, as good as they are, they’re probably so focused on daily operations they can’t devote adequate time to staying abreast of the IT industry’s fast-paced evolution and myriad new alternatives.  

You can get outside advice from an IT sourcing advisory.

You call your attorney to learn about legal tools, and your CPA to learn about financial tools to help manage your organization, even though you have legal and accounting departments. So it makes sense to speak with an IT sourcing advisory firm to get professional help in determining what assessment tools you should use and where you can acquire them.

Whereas your in-house folks may not have all the latest cutting-edge information right at hand, an IT sourcing advisory knows exactly what’s available. Better, a firm with personal experience working in large, global organizations can quickly relate to your specific needs, guiding you toward the most appropriate assessment tools.

You can get hands-on assistance from an IT sourcing advisory.

In some respects this is the “easiest” approach, but it’s in no way an abdication of your own responsibility. Rather it’s a matter of partnering with an industry professional – a team of them, probably – to ensure your assessment is thorough.

Just as you might talk to your outside legal or accounting firm for advice on some things, there are other matters you want them to take the lead on. They have the extra fire-power necessary to ensure the work is done properly. And they have your best interests at heart.

An IT sourcing advisory can conduct your assessment for you. More likely, you’ll work together because it’s your company and your future that are on the line. Adding assessment experts to your team puts all the right tools at your disposal. And you’ll benefit from the “deeper detection” an unbiased third party can bring – insight into both gaps and opportunities you might otherwise miss.

There’s no reason you can’t begin your IT infrastructure assessment in-house. You can always ask for help later if you find you need sharper tools. 

Photo credit: jamelah via Flickr