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to part two of our technology planning series. Now that you have
defined how technology can help you achieve your goals, and you know
what a technology plan is and why it’s important, let’s talk about a
central part of your plan.
How to Conduct a Technology Assessment
you can create a technology plan, you need to know where you stand. A
technology assessment will help you pinpoint what resources you already
have, and what you need to achieve your organization’s goals.
basis of a technology assessment is an inventory of your current
assets. While this can be a time-consuming effort, creating and
maintaining an asset inventory can save you countless work hours later,
help you proactively address equipment issues (before something breaks
and disrupts your day), and enable you to effectively plan ahead to meet
Remember that technology assets are not limited to
computers, workstations or servers. Everything that can be networked is
considered a technology asset, such as access points, printers,
projectors, monitors, switches, routers, modems, digital cameras,
smartphones, and more.
you’ll want to gather key information about each asset. Be careful,
it’s easy to go from the essential data to (non-useful) information
overload. Unless you have some type of third party device to help you,
stick with the essentials. For example:
Now that you’ve inventoried what you have, it’s time to think about what you need moving forward.
It’s important to make sure “what you need” maps back to specific
organizational goals and objectives. We suggest making two lists: one
for short-term goals (less than 12 months) and one for long-term goals
(1-5 years). Prioritize the lists according to what gives you the best
return on investment and helps you accomplish your mission. Perhaps you
want to focus on two or three small but significant projects to start
with – ensuring remote email access for everyone, or creating a database
to track donors and members.
Next, look at your budget and your asset inventory. How much money can
be set aside annually to purchase and maintain technology? Can that be
sure you include an ongoing budget for maintenance and safeguarding
your system. You may be able to get away with delaying some of those
costs for a short time, but without diligent upgrades and maintenance,
you increase the risk of computer meltdowns and system failures that can
endanger your data and disrupt your daily operations.
that you know your needs and your budget, can you identify other
resources to help fund your needs, such as grants and in-kind donations?
these assessments and answering all these questions will give you the
structure you need to develop your technology plan. Then you just need
someone to write it!
This post was authored by Mobile Beacon, a TechSoup donor partner. You can read more posts like this on their new blog, 4 Your Mission.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.