Today, every organization, from a hotdog stand to a multinational software company, needs IT to do business. Selecting, deploying, and managing that technology sounds simple in practice: figure out what services you need, find a vendor that meets that need, and sign on the dotted line. If you operate a hotdog stand, that may well be the reality; but add the dimensions of complexity and time to the equation and you end up with the situation many, if not most, firms are actually in: uncertainty, cost inefficiency, and chronic, low-level chaos.

This situation is typical, and not the fault of the firm. The market for telecom and technology in general is large, global, complex, and evolving nonlinearly. Provisioning, inventory, invoices, and interoperability add a layer of murkiness that often leaves firms unsure of what technology they have, what they really need, and whether they’re getting a good deal. “Managing IT” becomes “just managing”—rather than optimizing.

Technology Assessment vs. the “Stare & Compare” Telecom Audit

Bluewave started as a telecom audit company, but we noticed early on that we were doing something quite different than the “stare and compare” telecom audit. The “stare and compare” audit is a one-time review designed to identify problems, without the critical element of identifying opportunities. Part of Bluewave’s heritage is in systems integration where we were targeting our audits at building inventory and delivering full visibility of a client’s technology environment along with strategy and a plan for the future.

Our original unique approach to the audit has evolved into the Bluewave Technology Assessment, which delivers not just visibility across the organization, but also identifies which technologies are supporting business goals and which are not. The Technology Assessment is woven in with our Lifecycle Management process but is designed to deliver value regardless of whether clients work with us for procurement and implementation—which is why there is a cost attached to it. The attached cost demonstrates this isn’t just a sales pitch, plus it comes with a 2x guaranteed return-on-investment, which makes it an easy option for CIOs and CFOs. Guaranteeing a 2x return is easy for us because our clients see an average 12.4x ROI after our assessment.

What a Technology Assessment Isn’t

The Technology Assessment is designed to deliver actionable information about the IT area that is hardest for internal teams to see: the big picture. In our experience, organizations are better at understanding the micro-level of what’s going on in their network (where the network is, where the services are, and day to day management) than they are at understanding the macro level (what opportunities they’re missing, the gaps, the waste, what their challenges are, and what they’re paying).

The Technology Assessment doesn’t involve traffic or security assessments. More detail is not always helpful and can often add to the quagmire that clogs the decision-making process. Instead, the Technology Assessment delivers the visibility IT leaders need to make educated decisions and ensure their budget is as clean as possible. It’s a snapshot in time that allows IT leaders to generate an accurate single source of truth for creating a strategic blueprint.

Don’t Go Rogue: Why a Blueprint is Essential

When you build a new house from scratch, it’s good to have a blueprint. When you renovate an old house, it’s absolutely essential to have a blueprint. The IT environments of established organizations are like old houses: complex, riddled with a mix of old and new technologies, and layer upon layer of successive renovations to the extent that you can’t be entirely sure what’s behind all the walls unless you look.

Rather than continuing to add to the layers of renovation, causing more complexity and continuing to fix old systems when they break, a thorough blueprint of an old building first determines what should go and be replaced by modern technology that’ll be of better service. Many organizations are paying top dollar for the IT equivalents of a coal-fired boiler in the basement. That’s not universally bad, but there’s often a better and more cost-effective solution out there, and it would be hard to find if you didn’t know you were still heating with coal, or that that might be less than ideal. The Technology Assessment provides this detailed blueprint.

Nuts and Bolts

What does a Technology Assessment actually look like? Since, unlike traditional telecom audits, the Technology Assessment is focused on finding opportunities for organizations to better meet their business goals, we start there. The first step is to work with you to develop a deep understanding of your business goals, drivers, and outcomes. Everything downstream of this stage will be informed by this.

Next, we deliver a technical assessment of your technology infrastructure: what you have that’s working for you, and what’s working against you or is of diminishing returns. Next, we analyze all cost and utilization: what are you paying too much for, or paying for that you don’t actually use?

In the final stage, we look for opportunities for improvement with a particular focus on where the most benefit can be gained with technology optimized for how your business operates.

Can I Do This Myself?

Our clients are savvy and intelligent. Almost without exception, they all have the technical ability to do this kind of assessment themselves. The problem is that day-to-day operations get in the way of stepping back to see the macro level—both on the resourcing side and on the side of perspective.

We do Technology Assessments routinely and maintain a large, global network of vendors. This offers us an understanding of your environment in an industry-wide context, providing the best opportunity to help you meet your business goals competitively. On the resourcing side, big, in-depth assessments will always take a back seat to day-to-day operations—it’s hard to consider a renovation when you’re always busy fixing the boiler.

Our macro-level, industry-wide perspective together with your micro-level understanding of your environment and business goals is a proven formula for getting meaningful technology transformation done.

More from the Bluewave Blog on Technology Lifecycle Management:

Learn Why Technology Lifecycle Management Needs More Than a Telecom Broker