How to Perform a Technology Gap Analysis in 5 Steps
Every year, businesses become increasingly reliant on technology. No matter what sector you operate in, you’re no doubt using technology for dozens of utilities that all have to communicate with each other seamlessly and efficiently.
To ensure that your technology is working together, you should be regularly performing what’s called a technology gap analysis. In this analysis, you’ll work to identify inefficient handoffs between tools, finding better ways to set up those technologies, and find new solutions that can make your entire tech stack more efficient. Here’s how to get started.
1. Define the Gap
Simply put, the “gap” is the space between where you are and where you’d like to be. Unfortunately, that’s as clear as we can be without knowing more about your company. Every company has its own goals and priorities, not to mention its own problems.
You’ll have to examine the current state of your company to determine “where you are,” as it relates to the gap. Maybe your current state is the number of leads you’re bringing in every month. Maybe your current state is the speed at which your recovery plan kicks in and operations return to normal after a disaster. You can define your “gap” however seems most relevant to your organization — you can even analyze multiple gaps at the same time, as long as they’re defined clearly.
2. Dig Deeper
Once you’ve chosen a gap — or several — to analyze, you’ll need to start looking deeper into the exact nature of the current state of your company and how you want that state to change.
For a technology gap analysis, you should start by creating a technology roadmap that outlines your short- and long-term goals. That road map should contain a detailed analysis of your current tech stack and the functions of each piece. It should also involve a forward look at the specific technologies that you might need in the future, like chatbots or machine learning.
3. Establish Goals
Once you’ve constructed this roadmap, you can start to define the other side of the gap — the future state that you’re trying to achieve. Start with the core of your business, including your mission statement and values as an organization.
From there, you can lay out what success looks like for your specific circumstances. Start with known gaps. These are the areas where your employees and team leaders generally agree that improvement is necessary. Ask for input from your various departments and teams to establish which gaps are most pressing. You might also find “potential gaps,” which are harder to define but no less important.
Potential gaps are areas where you might be missing information, making it difficult for you to nail down exactly how to meet your goals. For example, you might have heard whispers that your competitors are launching major new products or software capabilities — you don’t know what they are, but you’re concerned that you’ll be left behind. You can do your best to make educated guesses, but there’s only so much you can do before the actual product launches.
4. Collect Data
Once you’ve identified your current state, goals, and future state, it’s time to put everything into numbers. Collect data on the relevant aspects of each piece of technology that you’re hoping to improve — money spent on software, time spent on outdated techniques, number of manual processes you’d like to automate, number of subscriptions you’re paying for, and whatever else might be relevant.
It’s no easy task to analyze the potential of your company’s tech stack, especially if you’re not familiar with the offerings on the market. This is where technology consultancy can be the most helpful — they’re much more aware of the current technology available and can make suggestions you might not think of yourself.
5. Make a Plan
Finally, you’re ready to act. Draw up a specific plan for each gap that you’ve identified and measured. Include purchases that need to be made, transitions from one piece of software to another, staff re-education that might take time, new hires to make use of the new technology, and more. Making significant changes is never easy, but it’s made much easier by concrete planning ahead of time.
Professional Technology Gap Solutions
The world of technology has gotten much more complicated in recent years, and that complexity is accelerating. It’s increasingly difficult for business leaders to keep one eye on the developing world of tech and the other on achieving business goals.
That’s precisely why technology consultancy is estimated to be worth $48 billion, or roughly 20% of the entire global consulting market. A professional consultant can examine every department, process, and piece of software in your company to determine where you might have gaps, weaknesses, or redundancies, then help you draw up a tailored plan for streamlining those issues. Consider bringing a professional’s perspective to your process to supplement your internal efforts and build a more complete picture of available technology solutions.
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